The International Olympic Committee (IOC), INTERPOL and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), with the support of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and World Rugby, held a regional webinar for National Olympic Committees (NOCs), law enforcement and state officials of the Pacific Region, focused on tackling the threat posed by manipulation of sports competitions.
The webinar, organized on 7 and 9 July 2020, brought together 200 participants from 20 countries of the Pacific and Asian regions, including 20 NOC representatives.
High on the agenda was the effects of COVID-19 on the sporting world. The temporary absence of sport events due to the pandemic and the gradual return of competitions and events call for extra preventative measures and vigilance, in order to ensure that sports emerge from the health crisis as strong as possible.
Participants assessed the scope and risks of competition manipulation and discussed the role of regulation, legislation and cooperation frameworks through a number of good practices across the region. The webinar encouraged the cooperation at national and regional level, clarified roles and responsibilities in addressing competition manipulation and provided useful guidance on how to conduct effective criminal investigations.
“Thanks to the IOC, INTERPOL and UNODC, this webinar provided the NOCs of the Pacific region with the opportunity to find out more about the risk of competition manipulation,” said Baklai Temengil, IOC Member and Palau NOC Secretary General. “We discussed the actions that our NOCs have to take in the fields of regulations, awareness-raising and intelligence and the importance of cooperation between sport, state authorities and law enforcement officials. We now look forward to implementing what we learned in coordination with the Olympic Movement Unit on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions”.
This webinar was the first in a series of workshops. The next one will focus on Baltic countries, and will take place later in July. More virtual meetings will follow throughout the year.
In the lead-up to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and after several years of successful cooperation, the IOC and INTERPOL reframed their cooperation in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, with the support of UNODC.
Recently, the three organisations jointly published a new paper, to address the current health crisis and the action required by those involved in tackling corruption in sport and preventing the manipulation of competitions, in particular sports organisations and governments.
The document sets out a policy framework and specific recommendations, as well as the tools and support mechanisms available to sports organisations and governments.