The International Partnership against Corruption in Sport (IPACS) decided during a meeting of its Steering Committee, held in Paris on 1 July 2019 and hosted by the French Presidency of the Council of Europe, to set up a new task force in order to increase the cooperation between criminal justice authorities/law enforcement and sport organisations.
IPACS is an initiative of the IOC, the Government of the United Kingdom, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)-G20, the Council of Europe and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and it is composed by other international sports organisations, governments and inter-governmental organisations.
While sports organisations can impose sanctions on corruption occuring within their jurisdiction, criminal justice authorities have a leading role to play in dealing with criminal offences. These often prove to be of a transnational or international nature, hence adding to the complexity of how cases are dealt with.
Enhanced cooperation between criminal justice authorities and sport will generate greater efficiencies and longer lasting impacts. Jean-Yves Lourgouilloux, Deputy Financial Public Prosecutor of France, joined yesterday’s meeting to share his insights on this very topic.
The new task force
To start with, the new task force will take stock of existing anti-bribery legislation applicable to the private sector, and create a list of existing networks of judicial authorities / law enforcement agencies through which its work could be supported and promoted.
Roxana Mărăcineanu, Minister for Sport of France and also an Olympic medallist in swimming, said during her welcome remarks: “It is essential for our institutions to be able to adapt to the reality of the rapid changes and new positioning of sports organisations. We must listen to them while conveying to them the importance of sport’s integrity. The aim is to contribute to the ethical behaviour and integrity of sport, permeating the culture of the sporting world, as well as the pursuit of pure sports performance.”
Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, emphasised during her introductory speech: “The better we do, the more credibility we will have, and the more pressure will build on other countries from all continents to work with us and adopt the standards and practices that should stamp corruption out of sport. IPACS can be the catalyst then not just for effective and realistic action among current member states, but around the world.”
During presentations by the other IPACS task forces, the Olympic Games delivery company for Paris 2024, SOLIDEO, presented the mechanisms set up to ensure ethical procurement for the Olympic Games Paris 2024. Regarding the prevention of conflicts of interest in the awarding process of major sports events, a list of recommendations for sports organisations and governments is currently being expanded with practical examples to facilitate implementation. In addition, the IPACS Steering Committee decided to strengthen the good governance criteria put forward by the sports movement (ASOIF) by including anti-bribery processes developped by inter-governmental organisations.
After the meeting, held at the offices of the Council of Europe, IOC Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer Pâquerette Girard Zappelli said: “Our meeting was very fruitful. There is a real sense of partnership and strong backing by all attending organisations and governments to support the sports movement in mitigating the risks against corruption in sport. The new task force adds another important element to IPACS’ portfolio and shows the evolution of its mandate.”
IPACS was launched at the IOC’s International Forum for Sports Integrity (IFSI) in February 2017 following a call made by leaders at the 2016 London Anti-Corruption Summit for a coordinated response to tackle corruption in sport. It is a multi-stakeholder platform with the mission of bringing together international sports organisations, governments, inter-governmental organisations, and other relevant stakeholders to strengthen and support efforts to eliminate corruption and promote a culture of good governance in and around sport. The core group is composed of the IOC, the Government of the United Kingdom, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Council of Europe and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Find out more at www.ipacs.sport.