The International Olympic Committee (IOC) shared its key initiatives aimed at preventing competition manipulation and related corruption with European policy-makers, law-enforcement authorities and betting operators this week.
At a workshop entitled “Developing European initiatives to fight match-fixing”, organised by the European Commission and attended by members of the European Parliament, IOC Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer Pâquerette Girard-Zappelli presented the angle of the Olympic and Sports Movement on the topic of “Identifying the risk factors for match-fixing”.
The event took place in Brussels, Belgium, on 17 and 18 February. Participants analysed methods to increase public-private cooperation and discussed a number of cases involving organised crime.
IOC partners with European “Keep Crime Out of Sport” project
The European Commission presented several projects dedicated to fighting match-fixing that have been granted EU funding. One such project, of which the IOC is a partner, is called “Keep Crime Out of Sport – Together against sports competition manipulation”.
The 18-month project, run by the Council of Europe, aims to:
- gather up-to-date information on match-fixing and betting regulations in member states;
- help countries to implement the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions and set up appropriate national structures through practical and technical assistance, by way of regional seminars, study visits and expert missions;
- promote the international exchange of information and best practices, including through a network of national contact points; and
- promote the signing and ratification of the Council of Europe Convention.
The IOC was consulted during the drafting of the aforementioned Convention and supports national legislation that enables the criminal prosecution of those involved in competition manipulation.
Protecting the Olympic Games
At the upcoming Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro 2016, the IOC will work with Brazilian law-enforcement authorities in a Joint Integrity Intelligence Unit to monitor all sports for instances of possible manipulation of competitions or related corruption. The IOC’s Integrity Betting Intelligence System (IBIS), which successfully operated for the first time in Sochi 2014, will serve as the system for information and intelligence exchange between law-enforcement, sports organisations and betting operators/regulators. In addition, the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro will see the first implementation of the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions. The Code is a regulatory framework defining the different kinds of violations, minimum standards of disciplinary procedures and the scope of sanctions. It was published as a first-of-its-kind in December last year.
Furthermore, the IOC is currently running a Play Fair Booth at the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lillehammer 2016 to educate young athletes about the threats related to all forms of competition manipulation. The Play Fair Booth features interactive games, workshops and advice on the Code of Conduct for the Games. Similar activities will be provided to the athletes in Rio de Janeiro this summer aimed at raising awareness of the issue and preventing unethical behaviour.
Olympic Agenda 2020 focus on integrity
Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC’s strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, has strengthened the IOC’s already strong commitment to protecting clean athletes and the integrity of sports. A number of measures have been initiated and implemented since the adoption of Olympic Agenda 2020 in December 2014. These include robust educational awareness programmes to safeguard Olympic events from any kind of manipulation. Together with INTERPOL, the IOC is currently delivering workshops around the world in partnership with National Olympic Committees, International and National Federations, law-enforcement agencies, government entities and betting regulators on the risks of manipulation of competition and related corruption. A new reporting mechanism for potential cases of competition manipulation as well as other violations – the Integrity and Compliance Hotline – was also successfully launched last year.