The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has bolstered its defence of the integrity of sport with two important initiatives: the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with INTERPOL and the establishment of a new intelligence system linking all stakeholders involved in sports betting.
The MoU between the IOC and INTERPOL, recently signed by IOC President Thomas Bach and INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble, was announced today.
As an independent intergovernmental organisation coordinating the world’s criminal police authorities, INTERPOL has worked closely with the IOC in the past to protect Olympic competitions from manipulation, with regard in particular to irregular and illegal betting.
Closer ties, broader reach
The MoU widens the scope of previous activities between the two organisations and provides for future collaboration on security and protection of the integrity of competitions at the Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games. This includes the fight against doping, match-fixing, illegal/irregular betting activities and related corruption. Moreover, the MoU sets out joint initiatives in the field of education and awareness-raising for both sports organisations and law enforcement agencies. Following the signing of the MoU, the IOC and INTERPOL are now drafting a strategy for concrete action over the next three years.
IOC President Bach, who has made the protection of clean athletes a key priority of his mandate, said: “INTERPOL has the ability and the necessary instruments to instigate cross-border investigations, coordinate different law enforcement bodies, and gather intelligence. In our determined fight to protect the integrity of sport on behalf of clean athletes, INTERPOL’s involvement is absolutely crucial. The MoU has further cemented the close relationship we already enjoy.”
INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said: “As the world’s largest law enforcement organisation, it is natural for INTERPOL to team up with the International Olympic Committee to secure and protect such universal events as the Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games.”
Centralised intelligence system operational ahead of Sochi 2014
The IOC’s newly established “Integrity Betting Intelligence System” (IBIS) is now fully operational in time for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, which will take place from 7 to 23 February 2014.
IBIS collates alerts and information on manipulation through betting on sport. Betting operators and regulators that have signed MoUs with the IOC will be responsible for monitoring betting activity during the Games and alerting the IOC directly when suspicious activity is detected. Following its introduction for Sochi, IBIS will remain in place between editions of the Olympic Games for the benefit of International Federations (IFs) for use at major international events and other multisport events.
The system is being designed to become the primary source of betting information for the Olympic Movement. The goal is to have all Summer and Winter IFs signed on to the system by the end of 2015.
The signing of the MoU with INTERPOL and the creation of IBIS are the two most recent actions in the IOC’s fight for the protection of clean athletes. In December, the IOC Executive Board agreed to create two funds of USD 10 million each, one for the prevention of any manipulation of sports competitions or related corruption and the other to fund new anti-doping research, in particular new techniques for the detection of prohibited substances and methods.