On the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day, celebrated worldwide on 9 December, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has reiterated its determination to protect sport’s integrity at all levels.
In line with this year’s theme of “United Against Corruption - Take action - Lead the change - Be the change” proclaimed by the United Nations, the IOC fights corruption at organisational level as well on the field of play. As this is a complex undertaking which often goes beyond sporting jurisdiction, the IOC is working with a range of stakeholders in order to maximise the efficiency and impact of its activities.
International Partnership against Corruption in Sport
One important initiative exemplifying the IOC’s commitment to fight corruption is the International Partnership against Corruption in Sport (IPACS), which was launched at the IOC’s International Forum for Sports Integrity (IFSI) in February 2017. This multi-stakeholder platform brings together international sports organisations, governments, inter-governmental organisations and other stakeholders to eliminate corruption and promote a culture of good governance in sport.
Dedicated expert taskforces have worked on a number of issues, ranging from reducing the risk of corruption in procurement relating to sporting events and infrastructure and ensuring integrity in the selection of major sporting events to enhancing cooperation between criminal justice authorities and sports organisations. The latest progress in these specific fields will be presented at the IPACS General Conference on 15 December in Abu Dhabi, in the presence of IOC President Thomas Bach.
Prevention of competition manipulation
In addition, the IOC strives to prevent competition manipulation and related corruption at sports events through a fully-fledged strategy developed in close collaboration with several partners, including the Olympic Movement stakeholders, sports betting operators, national regulatory authorities, intergovernmental agencies and academics.
Believe in Sport campaign to raise awareness
As prevention is key, the IOC has put in place the Believe in Sport campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the issue of competition manipulation among athletes, entourage members and officials. It is activated at major sports events, including the upcoming Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Athlete role models have supported the campaign to undertake peer-to-peer communication, which has proved to be very effective. The Believe in Sport Toolbox includes almost 30 different educational tools in various formats (videos, presentation templates, leaflets, etc.) and languages, targeting athletes, coaches and officials.
Through these various initiatives, the IOC is demonstrating its willingness to fight corruption in the most efficient and integrated way. The integrity hotline that has been created to allow everyone to report suspicious activities, including those related to competition manipulation, and any other infringements of the IOC Code of Ethics, is another concrete example of this strong commitment.