St. Thomas Law Review

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Much like a state, Puerto Rico is self-governed, but cannot interfere with federal law. However, sports federations in Puerto Rico are not governed by the existing applicable federal law. Sports federations are avoiding most of the strict regulations imposed by federal acts, mainly because Puerto Rico has its own Olympic identity, and is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as a separate country. As a result, the language on the federal acts has been interpreted to only apply to those organizations representing the United States. Because of this, federations avoid strict auditing procedures, and other regulations, which consequently have deterred athlete’s rights, as well as the long-term development of sports on the island. Using the New Haven School of Thought, also known as Policy-Oriented Jurisprudence, this article analyzes the problem of lack of regulation in sports in Puerto Rico, how it has impacted the community, presents the decisions made to address this issue, and develops recommendations to improve solutions