IOC and INTERPOL train IFs in fact-finding to protect sport’s integrity

15 Jun 2016
IOC News

Thirty representatives from 26 Olympic International Federations (IFs) undergo training on how to effectively collect and establish facts in relation to reports or suspicions of competition manipulation within sports organisations, during a two-day session jointly organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and INTERPOL, earlier this week.  

The two-day event, which took place from 13 to 14 June in Lausanne, Switzerland, addressed the need for an effective, coordinated response from the sports world to the threat of match-fixing and related corruption. The training was presented in the context of an unfolding scenario, which begins with an allegation of manipulation of a competition.

During the exercise, participants learnt how to:

- conduct fact-finding inquiries into suspicions or allegations of competition manipulation;
- establish the facts of the allegation or suspicion; and
- report the findings to a disciplinary panel. 

Elements discussed included the regulatory basis for fact-finding inquiries; inquiry planning; information gathering and sharing; risk management; interviewing methods; stakeholder collaboration and coordination; and cooperation between sports disciplinary and criminal investigatory proceedings.

Commenting on the training, the IOC’s Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, Pâquerette Girard-Zappelli, said: “International Federations have an important role to play in protecting the integrity of their respective sports. They oversee major events and have valuable intelligence when it comes to technical aspects as well as performance levels. It is important to build expertise within IFs on competition manipulation, which really is a complex matter. Such training opportunities are therefore invaluable and we are thankful for our constructive collaboration with INTERPOL in this regard.”  

New INTERPOL-IOC Handbook on conducting fact-finding
This week’s training was a good opportunity to introduce the participants to the INTERPOL-IOC Handbook on Conducting Fact-Finding Inquiries into Breaches of Sports Integrity. The Handbook will be an important reference document for experts in National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and IFs as it will help to make complex, challenging inquiries more manageable, transparent and accountable.

The IOC also took presented strategies and tools available to prevent and investigate allegations or suspicions of competition manipulation, such as the recently published Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions. A new mechanism for reporting potential cases of competition manipulation as well as other violations of the integrity of sport – the Integrity and Compliance Hotline – was also successfully launched by the IOC last year. Moreover, the IOC has reinforced its Integrity Betting Intelligence System (IBIS) and is enhancing monitoring and information exchange between law enforcement agencies, sports organisations and betting operators/regulators. All Summer and Winter Olympic IFs have signed up to IBIS.

About the IOC-INTERPOL partnership
The IOC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with INTERPOL in January 2014. The two organisations have since widened the scope of activities and drafted a strategy for concrete action over the 2015-2017 period. Among other initiatives, the two bodies are working together to deliver workshops around the world in partnership with NOCs and International and National Federations, law enforcement, governmental entities and betting regulators on the risks of match-fixing, manipulation of competitions and related corruption. Furthermore, the IOC is developing an e-learning platform targeting all the participants at the Olympic Games – athletes and their entourage, as well as NOC and IF officials.

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