Manipulation of sports competitions: National Olympic Committees, law enforcement bodies and governments discuss risks and prevention

10 Jul 2020
IOC News Ethics

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), INTERPOL and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), with the support of the International Association Football Federation (FIFA) and World Rugby, held a regional webinar for National Olympic Committees (NOCs), law enforcement bodies and state officials in the Pacific region, focused on tackling the threat posed by the manipulation of sports competitions.

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The temporary absence of sports events due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the gradual resumption of competitions and events require extra preventive measures and vigilance, in order to ensure that sports emerge as strong as possible.

The webinar, organised on 7 and 9 July 2020, brought together 250 participants from 20 countries in the Pacific and Asian region, including 20 NOC representatives.

The participants assessed the scope and risks of competition manipulation, and discussed the role of regulation, legislation and cooperation frameworks through a number of best practices from the region. The webinar encouraged cooperation at national and regional level, clarified roles and responsibilities in addressing competition manipulation, and provided useful guidance on how to conduct effective criminal investigations.

“Thanks to the IOC, INTERPOL and the UNODC, this webinar provided the NOCs of the Pacific region with the opportunity to find out more about the risk of competition manipulation,” said Makarita Lenoa, President of the Fiji NOC. “We discussed the actions that our NOCs have to take in the fields of regulations, awareness-raising and intelligence, and the importance of forming national cooperation between sport, state authorities and law enforcement officials in our countries. We now look forward to implementing what we learnt in coordination with the Olympic Movement Unit on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions.”

This webinar was the first of a series of workshops that will be organised throughout 2020. The next virtual gathering, intended for the Baltic countries, is planned on 21 and 23 July 2020.

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

Recently, 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 full paper can be found here.

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

In 2017, the IOC 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. More information can be found here.

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