Another tangible result of Olympic Agenda 2020, the meeting, held on 11 November in Winnipeg, was a first for Canada. It focused on enhancing understanding and identifying ways of preventing and responding to competition manipulation in Canada and North America. With over 20 coaches and educators in attendance from the Canadian National Olympic Committee (NOC), national sports federations, the Coaching Association of Canada, SportCanada and NGOs which implement coaching education, the objective was to empower these bodies to act as multipliers by delivering integrity training to players, referees and coaches in the region.
Michael Chambers, Immediate Past President of the Canadian Olympic Committee and Chair of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) Juridical Commission, who opened the workshop, said following it: "The cross-sections of coaches and other representatives of Olympic sport in Canada who attended the first IOC-INTERPOL Train the Trainer Workshop left with a greatly broadened knowledge and understanding of competition manipulation, how to recognise it, how to prevent and resist it, and how to deal with it if it should occur. It is heartening to see that concrete steps are being taken to implement the IOC’s initiatives in relation to integrity in sport and its Agenda 2020 commitment to protect clean athletes.”
Prevention through education
The manipulation of sports competitions, in particular when linked to betting activities, has become an area of great concern in recent years. Like doping, such corruption threatens the very integrity of sport. Olympic Agenda 2020, the new strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, has reiterated the IOC’s commitment and drive to protect clean athletes and the integrity of sports. A number of measures have thus been initiated and implemented, including robust educational awareness programmes to prevent Olympic events from any kind of manipulation. A new reporting mechanism for potential cases of competition manipulation as well as other violations – the Integrity and Compliance Hotline – was also successfully launched earlier this year.
The approach of the Train the Trainers Workshop series is very pragmatic. In Winnipeg, the IOC and INTERPOL presented strategies and tools that are available to prevent, educate and investigate allegations or suspicions of competition manipulation. The participants then examined various competition manipulation case studies which showcased the operational collaboration between sport, law enforcement and betting regulators and operators nationally as well as internationally.
About the IOC-INTERPOL partnership
The IOC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with INTERPOL in January 2014. Since then, the two organisations have widened the scope of previous activities and drafted a strategy for concrete action over the next two years. Among other initiatives, the two organisations are working together to deliver workshops around the world in partnership with National Olympic Committees and International and National Federations, law enforcement, governmental entities and betting regulators on the risks of match-fixing, manipulation of competitions and related corruption. The Integrity in Sport Workshops, currently being implemented in several countries across the world, offer tailored solutions for each national context. Furthermore, the IOC is developing an e-learning platform targeting all the participants at the Olympic Games – athletes, their entourage as well as NOC and IF officials.