Protecting clean athletes from competition manipulation was the focus of a workshop organised jointly by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and INTERPOL in Lima, Peru, last week. The meeting is another tangible result stemming from Olympic Agenda 2020, and was attended by more than 70 people from the Peruvian National Olympic Committee (NOC), national sports federations, local police force and the juridical system.
“It is about developing a coordinated national approach that really enables us to protect our athletes and the integrity of sport,” said Iván Dibós, IOC Member in Peru. He added: “First everybody needs to understand the real threat of competition manipulation and how it can destroy the spirit of sport. Then we need to find together efficient ways of preventing and responding to possible competition manipulation and corruption in sport in Peru, as well as at national and international events.”
The one-day workshop provided the participants with the opportunity to learn from top experts in this field, including from the UK Gambling Commission. This Commission hosted the Joint Assessment Unit that played a key role in preventing competition manipulation and monitoring betting activities during the Olympic Games London 2012. Participants also identified strengths and weaknesses of the current Peruvian system to deal with cases of competition manipulation and were provided by the IOC and INTERPOL with relevant strategies, tools and best practices. Furthermore, simulation exercises with real-life scenarios allowed the participants to experience how specific operational collaboration between sport, law enforcement and betting regulators and operators could look like.
José Quiñones González, President of the Peruvian NOC, said after the workshop: “I think today’s meeting was an eye-opener for all of us and certainly the starting point for much better collaboration between the key players who are needed to prevent and to fight competition manipulation in our country. I would like to thank the IOC, INTERPOL and all other speakers for their invaluable advice.”
Tim Morris, INTERPOL’s Executive Director of Police Services said: “Ensuring that those directly involved in the sporting world have the information and training they need to avoid becoming potential targets for criminals is just one aspect of combating match manipulation and corruption.” He added: “Whilst law enforcement has a central role to play in tackling the crime of corruption, this is also a wider issue which requires commitment from society as a whole to promote, develop and maintain respect for the rule of law.”
About Olympic Agenda 2020
Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC’s strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, puts a strong focus on protecting clean athletes from doping, match-fixing, the manipulation of competitions and related corruption. In this context a USD 20 million fund is being leveraged to protect 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 new scientific approaches to anti-doping.
About the IOC-INTERPOL partnership
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. Among other initiatives, the two organisations are working together to deliver workshops around the world in partnership with National Olympic Committees and International and National Federations, law enforcement, governmental entities and betting regulators on the risks of match-fixing, manipulation of competitions and related corruption. The Integrity in Sport Workshops, currently being implemented in several countries, offer tailored solutions for each national context. Furthermore, the IOC is developing an e-learning platform targeting all the participants at the Olympic Games – athletes, their entourage as well as NOC and IF officials.