IOC emphasises importance of integrity as part of the COVID-19 sports world recovery

09 Dec 2020
IOC News Ethics

On the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) stresses the importance of integrity and combating corruption in sport in the recovery process from the current pandemic.

IOC Ethics

This year’s theme, “Recover with Integrity”, highlights the fact that an inclusive recovery can be achieved only with integrity, and sport is no exception.

Joint efforts to fight against corruption in sport

IOC Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer Pâquerette Girard Zappelli today joined a webinar entitled “How to safeguard sport from corruption? A multi-stakeholder discussion on challenges and opportunities”, organised by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the European Parliament’s (EP) Sports Group.

With the goal of enhancing cooperation among law enforcement agencies, criminal justice and anti-corruption authorities, sports organisations and other relevant stakeholders, the webinar was an opportunity to discuss the threats posed by corruption to sport in the European context, and how to effectively tackle the problem.

“The IOC, for itself and for the whole Olympic Movement, remains strongly committed to preserving and strengthening the integrity of sport, and for this reason it has put in place important preventive and mitigating measures,” commented Zappelli. “In 2017, the IOC initiated two actions: it launched the International Partnership Against Corruption in Sport (IPACS) along with intergovernmental organisations dedicated to the fight against corruption, and it set up the Olympic Movement Unit on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions, which aims to provide sports organisations with harmonised regulations to protect all competitions from the risk of manipulation.”

With regard to the collaboration needed to combat corruption in sport, Zappelli said: “Effective cooperation between sports organisations and governmental authorities is fundamental, and it is the basis of the IPACS to tackle this issue in the most efficient way, through a dialogue process.”

“I would like to thank the UNODC and the European Parliament Sports Group for having organised this discussion, as it helps the policy makers, the anti-corruption officers in the national agencies or in sport, to have a better view of the challenges and the importance of supporting the sports organisations in this fight to protect their credibility,” she concluded.

Strong collaboration with INTERPOL and UNODC

In the lead-up to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and after several years of successful cooperation, the IOC and INTERPOL have reframed their cooperation in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, with the support of the UNODC.

In July 2020, the three organisations jointly published a new paper to address the current health crisis and the actions required by those involved in tackling corruption in sport and preventing the manipulation of competitions, in particular sports organisations and governments.

The document sets out a policy framework and specific recommendations, specifying the tools available to sports organisations and governments.

The IOC and UNODC have also partnered to design various activities, including providing technical assistance to UN Member States in the prosecution of competition manipulation and delivering national and regional joint training sessions, in addition to the development of standard-setting guides and tools.

IOC webinars on competition manipulation

On 9 and 10 December, the IOC will be holding a virtual workshop for Western-Central African countries, focused on sharing knowledge and fostering cooperation on how to tackle the manipulation of sports competitions.

This workshop is part of a series of six regional webinars organised in 2020 and co-hosted by the IOC and INTERPOL, under the auspices of the IOC and INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Capacity Building and Training Programme. More than 800 participants from 67 countries have taken part over the course of the year.

The objective has been to support National Olympic Committees (NOCs), International and National Sports Federations, law-enforcement agencies, criminal justice authorities, government entities and betting regulators and operators in addressing competition manipulation and related corruption.

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