Friday, July 27 marks the opening of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The massive international competition will last until August 12 and feature more than 10,000 athletes competing in 26 different sports. (See this page for descriptions of each summer sport, as well as information about the criteria for adding a new sport to the Olympic program.)
Planning for each Olympic Games is a complex process, from site selection to judging each event. The primary organization which oversees the Games is the International Olympic Committee, in cooperation with International Sports Federations (IFs) and National Olympic Committees (NOCs). This "Olympic Movement" adheres to a lengthy Charter which outlines the various rules and by-laws which make the Games possible. The IOC website includes the text of the Olympic Charter, a directory for the members of the international as well as national committees, and more information about financing and governance.
Several works in the Goodson Law Library discuss the evolution of the Olympic Games' regulation since their origins in ancient Greece. The recent treatises Sports Law: Lex Sportiva & Lex Olympica: Theory and Praxis (2011) and The Law of the Olympic Games (2009) explore a variety of legal issues from the earliest Olympics to the present day.
For more resources on the legal issues surrounding the Olympic Games, or on issues in sports law more generally, search the Duke Libraries Catalog for the subject heading "Sports -- Law and legislation" or Ask A Librarian.