LISBON, Portugal – INTERPOL and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have provided integrity in sport investigators’ training for law enforcement agencies and sports governing bodies to strengthen Portugal’s efforts in investigating and sanctioning competition manipulation in sports.
The event brought together 40 representatives from Portuguese law enforcement and sports organizations tasked with investigating competition manipulation and wrongdoing in sports. The two-day event (4 and 5 June) was hosted in close cooperation with the Portuguese Judiciary Police and the Olympic Committee of Portugal, with the support of Sportradar.
With the Council of Europe Convention on Competition Manipulation entering into force on 1st September of this year, Joao Paolo Rebelo, Portugal’s Secretary of State for Youth and Sports, stressed the importance of cooperation between sports and law enforcement for effectively addressing sports corruption.
Luis Neves, National Director of Portugal’s Judicial Police, underlined the role of law enforcement in protecting the health and fairness of sport, and welcomed the opportunity to host the event to discuss the protection of the integrity of sports.
In this respect the course included practical scenario-based exercises designed to enhance relevant skills and assist in applying learning to the work environment.
José Manuel Constantino, President of the Olympic Committee of Portugal, outlined the importance of raising awareness and building capacity in sport and law enforcement to tackle competition manipulation through these training activities.
The training session was based on the INTERPOL-IOC published Handbook on Conducting Fact-Finding Inquiries into Breaches of Sports Integrity.
José de Gracia, INTERPOL Assistant Director, Criminal Networks Sub-Directorate said: “One of the key aspects of this training is that cooperation and information sharing are crucial. This is why stakeholders in law enforcement, government and sports need to come together as part of a global network to tackle competition manipulation.”
Prior to the investigators’ training, INTERPOL and the IOC organized a partnership development meeting with high-level Portuguese representatives. Key stakeholders such as betting regulators and officials from government, law enforcement and judiciary, the National Olympic Committee and sports organizations met in order to help develop a coordinated national approach to protect the integrity of sport in Portugal, in line with the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions and the establishment of a national platform.
INTERPOL and the IOC recently expanded their joint global capacity-building and training programme until 2021 to protect the integrity of sports.