The International Olympic Committee is fighting against all forms of cheating in sport, particularly when linked to betting activities. Betting is not negative per se. However, sport is based on the uncertainty of the result. Betting is based on a certain form of certitude of the result. Thus there is a great risk of a conflict of interests between these two activities.
Therefore the sports movement needs to make sure that cheating in connection with betting activities does not infringe the result or the course of the competition.
What are the risks?
- Cheating in sport is a reality:
There are stories about athletes, referees, coaches, etc. being offered money or advantages in order to manipulate the result or the course of a competition.
- Vicious circle:
Once the athlete accepts to cheat once, it is difficult to refuse any subsequent proposition.
- Large amount of money involved:
The amount of money involved can be enormous; this highlights the importance of the risks. There is also a risk that organised crime is involved.
In collaboration with members of the Olympic Movement and other partners such as governments, international organisations and betting operators, measures have been taken to raise awareness throughout the world of sport and among the general public, and to protect the integrity of sports competitions. (Please read the press release issued on 14 May 2013 after the fourth meeting of the Founding Working Group on the fight against irregular and illegal betting, at which a number of recommendations were approved.)
The recommendations formulated by the sub-groups of experts on the three identified fields of reflection, which are: education; monitoring and the exchange of information and intelligence; and legislation were approved and now have to be implemented.
What does the IOC during the Olympic Games to safeguard the sport integrity?
Mechanism in place :
Since the Beijing Olympic Games, the Olympic competitions are monitored and any irregular pattern is reported and analyzed. A process including national and international police force – Interpol – is in place. In case of irregular pattern or serious suspicion, a disciplinary commission can be settled by the IOC President.
During the Games, any information related to cheating can be reported to the IOC ethics commission by message email@example.com or by phone +41 800 12 14 16.
Information and education of the athletes:
The IOC has several educational tools for the athletes:
Rules related to betting
The IOC Code of Ethics was amended to forbid all participants in the Olympic Games from betting on Olympic events and to avoid any unsporting behaviour, including disclosure of inside information.
Specific rules are published for each edition of the Olympic Games :
Rules of Application for the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, concerning the prohibition on betting linked to the Olympic Games and any form of cheating affecting the results of Olympic competitions in the context of betting.
For the Sochi edition, these rules have been strengthened and detailed. Some points have been underlined, in particular the responsibility of the participants to report any attempt at competition fixing to which they have been exposed or which they have witnessed, and the obligation to cooperate in the event of an inquiry.
The IOC is collaborating closely with the Russian authorities to ensure that all the conditions are fulfilled so that the Olympic Games in Sochi are an example in terms of integrity.
Actions by international organisations
Because of the scale of the problem, several international organisations (such as the CoE and the UNODC) are studying the best legal means for combating competition fixing on an international level. This concerns bringing together the sports movement, governments, police forces and legal bodies in order to be efficient with respect to this complex issue. The IOC actively supports these steps.
The aim is to create national platforms for exchanging information (in particular in collaboration with national betting operators and regulators) and to link these various platforms to allow for a transfer of information across borders.