On the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day, celebrated worldwide on 9 December, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has reiterated its commitment to protecting sport’s integrity at all levels.
Corruption affects all areas of society, and sport is not immune to the threat. This year’s official theme of “Your right, your role: Say no to corruption” seeks to highlight the rights and responsibilities of everyone – including public authorities, the media, the private sector, civil society, academia, the public and youth – in tackling corruption.
For its part, the IOC fights corruption at organisational level as well as on the field of play. This is a complex undertaking which often goes beyond sporting jurisdiction. Therefore, the IOC is working with a range of stakeholders to maximise the efficiency and impact of its activities.
International Partnership Against Corruption in Sport
The IOC was instrumental in setting up the International Partnership Against Corruption in Sport (IPACS) in 2017. This multi-stakeholder platform brings together international sports organisations, governments and intergovernmental organisations to prevent corruption and promote a culture of good governance in sport.
Dedicated expert taskforces have been working on a number of issues and developing practical tools in a range of key areas, including reducing the risk of corruption in procurement relating to sporting events’ infrastructure and associated services; ensuring integrity in the selection of major sporting events; strengthening good governance to mitigate corruption; and enhancing effective cooperation between law enforcement, criminal justice authorities and sports organisations.
IPACS’ achievements, benefits and remaining challenges were discussed at the 4th edition of the IOC’s International Forum for Sports Integrity last month.
The value of partnerships
Furthermore, the IOC has long-standing bilateral relationships with a range of expert organisations in the fields of anti-corruption and the prevention of competition manipulation, such as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and INTERPOL. The IOC and UNODC have partnered to design various activities and recently signed a new memorandum of understanding to further strengthen their ties, with a particular focus on preventing youth crime through sport. The IOC also provided input on the UNODC’s Global Report on Corruption in Sport, which was launched today.
Together with INTERPOL, the IOC has run a global capacity-building and training programme to support sports organisations, law-enforcement agencies, criminal justice authorities and government entities in addressing competition manipulation and related corruption. The two organisations are also collaborating closely in the fields of investigation and intelligence.
Prevention of competition manipulation
When it comes to the field of play, the IOC strives to prevent competition manipulation throughout the year through a fully-fledged strategy developed in close collaboration with several partners. The Olympic Movement Unit on the Prevention of Manipulation of Competitions (OM Unit PMC) implements a “3-Pillar Strategy” for the Games and other major sports events, which covers the fields of legislation and regulations, awareness-raising and capacity-building, and intelligence and investigation.
For the upcoming Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, an educational campaign for officials and athletes, robust rules and processes and the 24/7 monitoring of all Olympic events will be in place.The IOC’s integrity hotline allows everyone to report suspicious activities, including those related to competition manipulation, and any other infringements of the IOC Code of Ethics.