Recent cases across different sports have illustrated once again that irregular and illegal betting erodes the integrity and credibility of sport and jeopardises its healthy development. The IOC has been aware of the threat for some time.
Harmonisation of rules
Since 2006, the IOC’s Code of Ethics has forbid all participants in the Olympic Games from betting on Olympic events. The rules of application passed for Sochi build on those in place for London 2012, but take into account existing regulations for International Federations in an attempt to harmonise the approach of different stakeholders.
Read the full text of the rules here
Cross-stakeholder Working Group
In recent years, the IOC has increasingly reached out to sports bodies, governments, police authorities, and legal betting operators to help fight irregular and illegal betting. In 2011 it established a dedicated Working Group to bring all these stakeholders around one table, define a common approach and position and raise awareness of the issue.
Since then, the Working Group has focused on three main areas: education; monitoring, intelligence and analysis; and legislation and regulations. One year ago, it issued specific recommendations that aim to align the activities of all stakeholders. Its next meeting is scheduled for May when the IOC will present its work with the Council of Europe on an international Convention against Manipulation of Sports Results and notably Match-fixing. The Convention would be a binding instrument open to both European and non-European countries aimed at suppressing the manipulation of sports results, an activity which continues to grow across the world.
“Extremely serious issue”
IOC President Jacques Rogge said today: “While no irregular betting activities have been detected at an Olympic Games, we feel that we need to be vigilant and ensure that measures are in place to limit the potential effect that irregular betting activities could have on the Games. As recent cases show, irregular and illegal betting is a global phenomenon and no sport, elite or otherwise, is immune from this scourge. It is an extremely serious issue that threatens the very integrity of sport. This is why it is at the top of our agenda and we will convene our working group on 14 May to continue our joint efforts.”