Protecting sport’s integrity at Tokyo 2020

17 Jul 2021
IOC News Tokyo 2020

Protecting the integrity of sport at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, taking place from 23 July to 8 August 2021, is a top priority for the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IOC Executive Board (EB) was updated today on  the measures put in place for Games time – aimed at both preventing and dealing swiftly with competition manipulation.

Two female martial arts shaking hands after training Getty Images 2021

Sports betting on all Olympic competitions has been monitored since the Olympic Games Beijing 2008, and Tokyo 2020 will be no exception. The Olympic Movement Unit on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions (OM Unit PMC), with its partners – namely Sportradar, the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA), the Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS), major regulating authorities and a large number of private sports betting companies from around the world – will monitor sports betting on all Olympic competitions at this summer’s Olympic Games.

The IOC will retain a direct link with all International Federations (IFs) in order to flag any breach of the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions (OM Code PMC). It is equipped to carry out a preliminary investigation and assist with the set-up of a Disciplinary Commission if necessary. In addition, the IOC will cooperate closely with various law enforcement authorities to address any cases where collective and joint follow-up is appropriate and necessary.

Pâquerette Girard Zappelli, IOC Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, said: “During the last years, we have been working with Tokyo 2020, international police forces and national authorities to set up the necessary processes and coordinate actions for Games time. As a sports organisation, the IOC can deal with disciplinary matters related to the Olympic Games, and we will have in place a dedicated Disciplinary Commission for cases of competition manipulation and other integrity breaches. For all criminal and security matters, we will of course rely on the Japanese authorities and their jurisdiction.”

Paquette Girard Zappelli speaks to the Executive Board meeting in Tokyo IOC/Greg Martin
Raising awareness about competition manipulation

Prevention plays a key role in the fight against competition manipulation. A number of measures have thus been implemented prior to the Games and in close collaboration with the IFs and National Olympic Committees (NOCs), including robust educational awareness programmes.

In particular, IFs and NOCs have promoted the IOC’s integrity eLearning programme among their athletes and entourage members, which provides an overview of the topic as well as guidance on how to react when approached by untruthful people.

They have also amplified the dedicated campaign “MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION”, by communicating the key messages in their communication channels. In addition, IFs and NOCs have organised webinars and personal briefings, often using athlete ambassadors for peer-to peer communication, and distributed educational material, such as the Code of Conduct. The latter sums up the rules that all athletes, coaches and officials need to be aware of: in Tokyo, any accredited person must not bet on any Olympic events, or share inside information or, of course, manipulate a competition.

In addition, it is obligatory to report any information on a potential breach of integrity via the IOC Integrity Hotline.

Coordinated approach and harmonised regulations

Following PyeongChang 2018, this is the second Games edition where all the measures outlined above will be overseen by the dedicated OM Unit PMC, set up by the IOC in 2017 and an integral part of the IOC Ethics and Compliance Office. This Unit oversees the implementation of the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions, which forms part of the Olympic Charter. It aims to provide sports organisations with harmonised regulations to protect all competitions from the risk of manipulation and support them to develop effective activities against the threat. Learn more about the various IOC integrity initiatives here.

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