As part of increased collaboration between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and INTERPOL to protect the integrity of sport through education and awareness programmes, as outlined in Olympic Agenda 2020, the first Partnership Development Meeting (PDM) was held today in Oslo, Norway.
Norway was the first country to ratify the Council of Europe’s Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions. Today’s meeting enabled the IOC and INTERPOL to test, through scenarios, the country’s readiness to confront competition manipulation within its borders. Participants, who included high-level representatives from the government, law enforcement agencies, sports betting authorities and sports, responded to allegations of competition manipulation and built a comprehensive and unified approach to combatting them. PDMs are currently being developed by the IOC and INTERPOL for other countries around the world according to their own unique circumstances.
“This meeting is another tangible result from Olympic Agenda 2020, which is all about protecting the clean athletes from doping, match-fixing, the manipulation of competitions and related corruption,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “Together, the IOC and INTERPOL are developing robust education and awareness programmes that are already having a positive impact in the fight to protect the integrity of sport. INTERPOL’s know-how and educational expertise is crucial in this regard.”
INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock said: “Our common action with the International Olympic Committee to protect the integrity of sport through PDMs, training and capacity building helps strengthen confidence in fair play by the public and all those who have a stake in keeping sports clean and safe.”
Recognising the commitment by Norwegian authorities to sport’s integrity, Mr Stock added: “A coordinated prevention strategy to keep sports clean is necessary, and must involve stakeholders on national, regional and international levels.”
The meeting included representatives from the Norwegian Ministry of Culture, the Norwegian Olympic Committee (NOC), the Football Association of Norway, the Norwegian National Lottery, the Norwegian Gaming and Foundation Authority, the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (ØKOKRIM), National Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS) Norway (Organised Crime section), INTERPOL’s National Central Bureau (NCB) Oslo, the National Police Directorate Norway, the IOC and INTERPOL.
Norwegian Minister for Culture and Sport Thorhild Widvey said: “An efficient fight against manipulation of sports competitions requires combined efforts from sport, betting operators, betting regulators and other public authorities, including the police. By strengthening national coordination and international cooperation in this field, we will be better prepared to tackle the challenges facing sport.”
As part of Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC’s strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, a USD 20 million fund is being leveraged to protect the clean athletes. USD 10 million has been earmarked to prevent match-fixing, manipulation and related corruption; the other USD 10 million is being used to support projects offering a new scientific approach to anti-doping.
Pâquerette Girard Zappelli, the IOC’s Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, said: “The IOC recognises its responsibility to support the Olympic Movement, and particularly National Olympic Committees, in recognising, resisting and reporting breaches of sport’s integrity. In order to build a firewall around sport, to protect clean athletes and clean competitions, we need partners who can help us strengthen that firewall. We cannot fight this alone.”
“Our collaboration with INTERPOL enables us to develop tailored solutions for each national situation. Together we address the various complex, multi-jurisdictional integrity risks that sport is confronted with today,” she continued. “Through PDMs and other training courses, we are strengthening good governance and investigative capacity to bring to justice those who attempt to destroy the soul of sport.”
The IOC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with INTERPOL in January 2014. Since then, the two organisations have widened the scope of previous activities and drafted a strategy for concrete action over the 2015-2017 period. The IOC and INTERPOL will continue to provide Partnership Development Meetings tailored to the unique circumstances of governments, law enforcement agencies and betting operators around the world. The two organisations are working together to deliver workshops with National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and an annual seminar with International Federations (IFs) on the risk of match-fixing, manipulation of competitions and related corruption. An e-learning platform targeting all the participants at the Olympic Games – athletes, their entourage as well as NOC and IF officials – is also being developed.
The International Olympic Committee is a not-for-profit independent international organisation made up of volunteers, which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 per cent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of USD 3.25 million goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world.
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