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The IOC’s ultimate goal is to protect clean athletes. We are therefore actively committed to fighting all forms of cheating in sport.
The manipulation of sports competitions has become an area of great concern in recent years. Such corruption threatens the very integrity of sport.
Competition manipulation is when an athlete or official cheats in order to remove the unpredictability of a competition. They may cheat to lose a competition or part of it. This is against the Olympic spirit. One example is when athletes lose an event on purpose in order to determine their opponents in the next phases of the competition.
Betting on sport is not inherently negative. Sports betting is one way the public can demonstrate its attachment to sports and athletes, and the services offered by regulated national operators are one of the main means of financing sport in many countries.
With the rise of the internet, the sports betting market has gone global. One can bet in Europe on a competition organised in South America through an Asian betting website. The market has hugely increased in size and complexity.
The problem occurs when betting leads to the manipulation of competitions. The very essence of any sporting competition is that the result cannot be known beforehand. When that uncertainty is removed, it renders sport meaningless and demoralises clean athletes.
It is the responsibility of the Olympic Movement and sports world in general therefore to ensure that betting activities do not infringe in any way upon the course or result of the competition.
We have all heard stories about athletes, referees, coaches or others being offered money or advantages in order to manipulate the result or course of a competition. The threat is real and it is poisoning sport in every corner of the world.
The amount of money involved can be enormous, making the temptation to manipulate very attractive. The huge sums also attract organised crime.
When an athlete agrees to cheat once, it becomes increasingly difficult to refuse any subsequent proposition.
The Ethics and Compliance Office of the IOC is actively fighting against the manipulation of competitions in different ways:
The IOC has several educational tools in place to raise athletes’ awareness of the risk of competition manipulation and related corruption.
In December 2015, the IOC Executive Board approved the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions.
Find out more about the Integrity Betting Intelligence System (IBIS) and the hotline for reporting possible violations.