IOC and IFs team up to protect clean athletes
At a dedicated IOC Sports Integrity Workshop that took place in Lausanne on Wednesday, the IOC together with INTERPOL and both the Summer and Winter Olympic International Federations (IFs) looked into how best to protect sport from competition manipulation. Defending and protecting clean athletes is a top priority of the IOC and within Olympic Agenda 2020, the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, initiated by IOC President Thomas Bach and expected to be approved by the IOC full membership in Monaco on 8 and 9 December.
The event was co-organised by the IOC, the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) and the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES).
ASOIF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “In concluding today’s Workshop, ASOIF President Francesco Ricci-Bitti stated ‘Today’s Workshop, with the testimony provided by INTERPOL and the Tennis Integrity Unit, showed the complexity of the problem that sport is facing. The IOC, as the umbrella organisation for sport, has taken the lead to address this problem and we thank them for their dedication.”
17 IFs already signed up to new “IBIS” intelligence system
At today’s workshop, the IOC presented IBIS, its Integrity Betting Intelligence System, to the IFs. IBIS has been designed to become the primary source of betting information for the Olympic Movement, and aims to step up the fight against manipulation and corruption linked to sports betting. All seven International Olympic Winter Federations signed up ahead of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, for which IBIS was operational for the first time and proved to be very successful. In view of the next Olympic Games in Rio in 2016, all 28 Olympic Summer Federations will have signed up to IBIS and will be integrated into the IOC’s intelligence system. Ten of them are already on board, with the latest additions being the sports of aquatics, badminton and boxing. Football will continue to use its own monitoring system, but has already signed a partnership agreement with the IOC committing to a mutual exchange of information.
Permanent support system for IFs
Christophe De Kepper, IOC Director General, said: “The high participation of IFs in today’s workshop and the great interest they have shown in joining IBIS is very encouraging. Clearly, the IFs have a major role to play when it comes to protecting their sports from competition manipulation, and today was another occasion for the IOC to give them the tools to do so. The IOC runs and finances IBIS which remains operational between editions of the Olympic Games. It is only logical for the IFs to take advantage of this opportunity and use IBIS at their major international events and other multisport events.”
Besides the presentation of IBIS, the workshop also addressed the use of investigatory procedures and the education of the IFs’ stakeholders about the risk of competition manipulation. INTERPOL, which has worked in close partnership with the IOC for several years, explained the process of a criminal investigation and how it differs from a sports disciplinary one. The IOC strengthened its partnership with INTERPOL through an official Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) earlier this year, widening the scope of previous activities between the two organisations. The global implementation of activities will begin in January 2015 with joint initiatives planned in the field of training and awareness-raising for sports organisations and law enforcement agencies, including joint workshops and tailored training material.
Learn more about the IOC’s initiatives to protect clean athletes and to educate about the risk of competition manipulation here.