skip to content
02 May 2019

Engaging with athletes on integrity

The biggest-ever International Athletes’ Forum, organised by the IOC in Lausanne from 13 to 15 April, offered an excellent platform to raise awareness among the 350 athlete representatives in attendance about the importance of fighting corruption and competition manipulation. It was the first time that all 206 National Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commissions were invited.


During a panel session on “Protecting Athletes”, IOC Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer Pâquerette Girard Zappelli spoke about the urgency of fighting all forms of corruption in sport and explained the functioning of the International Partnership Against Corruption in Sport (IPACS). IPACS is a platform which brings together international sport organisations, governments, inter-governmental organisations and other relevant stakeholders, thereby facilitating the prevention of corruption in various sport organisations at national and international level. Its ultimate aim is to ensure a corruption-free environment for all athletes.

We must not be naive - competition manipulation can occur anywhere, in any sport and at any time. Danka Bartekova IOC Athletes’ Commission Vice-Chair

In the same session, IOC Athletes’ Commission Vice-Chair Danka Bartekova presented the Believe in Sport campaign and its educational toolbox against competition manipulation. She illustrated the topic with concrete cases of competition manipulation from past Olympic Games editions, demonstrating to her audience that the threat is real. She said: “Many people in sport may think that competition manipulation doesn’t concern me, my organisation, my region or my sport. But these examples show the contrary and we must not be naive - competition manipulation can occur anywhere, in any sport and at any time.”


At the Market Place, IPACS was presented to the athletes in more detail in order to make them aware of situations in which they might witness corruption in their environments. Many of the athletes in attendance expressed an interest in receiving regular updates from IPACS through the new website to be better equipped to foster a culture of good governance in their respective sports and countries. A number of athletes also agreed to join future IPACS meetings.   

In addition, the Market Place at the Forum featured a Believe in Sport booth where the participants were offered the opportunity to dive deeper into the topic and engage with the IOC’s Believe in Sport campaign, which was launched successfully during the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in October.  The campaign aims to raise awareness about the threat of competition manipulation among athletes, their entourages and officials and comes with a range of easy-to-use, educational tools. The booth was also used to recruit new members for the IOC’s “Believe in Sport team”, who are tasked with taking action on and raising awareness about competition manipulation in their communities.

If you also believe in the importance of integrity in sport and want to make a positive impact by becoming a member of the Believe in Sport team, please contact The more the merrier!

back to top