PROTECTING CLEAN ATHLETES - PREVENTING AND DETECTING CHEATING RELATED TO SPORTS BETTING
The IOC’s ultimate goal is to protect clean athletes. We are therefore actively committed to fighting all forms of cheating in sport.
The manipulation of sports competitions, in particular when linked to betting activities, has become an area of great concern in recent years. Like doping, such corruption threatens the very integrity of sport.
What are the risks?
Betting on sport is not inherently negative. Sports betting is one way the public can demonstrate its attachment to sports and athletes, and the services offered by regulated national operators are one of the main means of financing sport in many countries.
The problem occurs when betting leads to the manipulation of competitions. The very essence of any sporting competition is that the result cannot be known beforehand. When that uncertainty is removed, it renders sport meaningless and demoralises clean athletes.
It is the responsibility of the Olympic Movement and sports world in general therefore to ensure that betting activities do not infringe in any way upon the course or result of the competition.
Cheating is no myth:
We have all heard stories about athletes, referees, coaches or others being offered money or advantages in order to manipulate the result or course of a competition. The threat is real and it is poisoning sport in every corner of the world.
The amount of money involved can be enormous, making the temptation to manipulate very attractive. The huge sums also attract organised crime.
When an athlete agrees to cheat once, it becomes increasingly difficult to refuse any subsequent proposition.
What steps has the IOC taken to protect clean athletes and sport’s integrity?
Regulations and recommendations by the Olympic Movement
The IOC encourages and supports sporting regulations, national legislation and international rules that protect the integrity of athletes and sport. We provide recommendations, offer opportunities for collaboration (via platforms such as IBIS
) and facilitate knowledge exchange. Click here for more information on how the IOC has worked with its stakeholders over the past years to safeguard the integrity of sport
Rules in place during the Olympic Games to protect clean athletes:
Since 2006, the IOC Code of Ethics has prevented all participants at the Olympic Games from betting on Olympic events. Specific rules are drafted for each edition of the Olympic Games (read more here).
• During the Olympic Games a hotline for reporting possible violations is available: +41 800 12 14 16.
• Any information related to cheating should be reported to the IOC Office of the Ethics Commission by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Confidentiality is ensured.
Integrity Betting Intelligence System (IBIS):
Since the Olympic Games Beijing 2008, betting on all Olympic competitions has been monitored. Any irregular pattern reported was analysed, with national and international police forces, including INTERPOL, playing a vital role. Should an irregular pattern be detected or serious suspicion raised, a disciplinary commission can be set up by the IOC President.
In January 2014, the IOC created the Integrity Betting Intelligence System (IBIS) with the aim of:
• supporting International Federations (IFs) and organisers of multisport events, including the Olympic Games, in the fight for clean competitions by providing them with alerts and intelligence via a centralised mechanism for the exchange of information. The IOC acknowledges the fact that football has developed its own mechanisms and has agreed on reciprocal support;
• protecting clean athletes from any negative influence related to sports betting; and
• creating a framework for transparency, confidentiality and trust between all stakeholders.
What does IBIS do?
• IBIS collects and distributes information and intelligence related to sports betting for use by all stakeholders of the Olympic Movement.
• As an IT platform, IBIS enables communication between all partners on the sports side and the different entities involved in sports betting through Single Points of Contact (SPOC).
For a more detailed overview of IBIS, click here.
The IOC has several educational tools in place to raise athletes’ awareness of the risk of competition manipulation and related corruption. The following resources are freely available to everyone:
- Educational videos, including an introductory clip, voices of Olympic Athletes
- “Sporting Choice” – a programme showcasing different scenarios and targeting 14-18 year olds, implemented at the Youth Olympic Games
- A three-minute quiz for athletes at the Olympic Games that tests knowledge about manipulation of competitions
- “Protect your sport” Code of Conduct – available in 10 languages – English, French, Spanish, Russian, German, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese – and one multi-language version. Organisations can adapt the Code of Conduct by replacing the IOC logo with an alternative logo. For more information, please contact us at: email@example.com
For a list of awareness-raising initiatives implemented during the Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games click here.
Raising awareness among Olympic stakeholders and partners
The IOC regularly organises meetings, seminars and workshops for a range of stakeholders (governments, international organisations, betting operators and the sports movement). The aim is to raise awareness, share best practices and define what is needed to ensure the credibility of sport through appropriate risk assessment and risk management.
The IOC also organises workshops with INTERPOL for stakeholders and partners, including international sports federations and law enforcement agencies.
Click here for examples of global IOC integrity awareness-raising initiatives beyond the Games, as of 2014