Introduction: The present study conducted with the aim of proposing development model of diplomacy through sport.
Methods: Research methodology was qualitative and grounded theory using Strauss & Corbin approach. The statistical population included the presidents of Olympic federations, Politicians, scholars and experts who had experience in international affairs activities, and sampling continued until theoretical saturation. To select samples targeted sampling was used and 19 people were considered as interviewees. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect data. Using MAXQDA software, Categories, concepts and items were extracted in order to recognize causes, context, phenomenon, strategies and consequence.
Results: There were 297 preliminary conceptual statements with 13 categories and 73 concepts in paradigm format in four areas including application of sport, managerial factors, foreign policy and the structure of sport.
Conclusion: Based on the findings the areas are divided as follow: the application of sport (including political application of sport, economical application of sport, social application of sport and development of international relations), managerial factors (including education and training of human resources, knowledge management, media and international relationships), foreign policy (including sport and foreign policy and foreign policy and sport) and the last area was related to the structure of sport (including international seats, policy making and planning, sports organization structure, and the place of sport of Iran in the world). In addition, the relationship between the categories showed that the obtained model matches the original format of Strauss & Corbin paradigm model.