LYON, France – INTERPOL and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are to expand their joint global capacity building and training programme to protect the integrity of sports.
Under a recent agreement renewing their partnership until 2021, INTERPOL and the IOC will carry out a wide range of national and regional joint training sessions to raise awareness and build capacity within law enforcement and sports organizations to facilitate effective investigations into competition manipulation.
As part of the first period of their partnership (2015 – 2017), INTERPOL and the IOC organized 30 tailor-made capacity building training events involving 46 different countries, with some 1,100 participants trained.
“Competition manipulation remains a global concern, with organized criminal syndicates operating on a large transnational scale, and targeting an ever wider range of sports,” said INTERPOL’s Director of Organized and Emerging Crime, Paul Stanfield.
“Despite national efforts to respond to competition manipulation, the solution lies through a coordinated approach, between the sports movement and law enforcement, at all levels. Our on-going partnership with the IOC sets the example of an effective strategic partnership at the international level,” added Mr Stanfield.
This partnership links with relevant international initiatives and specific capacity building events led to the creation of national platforms to address competition manipulation in Belgium and Norway, as outlined in the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions. The partnership also promotes the implementation of the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions.
The joint training programme strengthens global operational networks to tackle competition manipulation like the IOC Integrity Betting Intelligence System or the INTERPOL Match-Fixing Task Force, the operational arm of the programme with 125 points of contact in 81 countries, as well as at Europol.
As part of the partnership, INTERPOL and the IOC established mechanisms to exchange information to protect the integrity of the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, in February 2018. INTERPOL acted as a hub for law enforcement in order to successfully facilitate and coordinate the exchange of data for issues related to integrity in sport and integrity of sport competitions.
“Protecting the clean athletes from all forms of corruption and manipulation is our top priority,” said Pâquerette Girard Zappelli, IOC Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer. “Our strong collaboration with INTERPOL serves to safeguard the integrity of sport. We are very satisfied with the outcomes of our partnership during the last three years and are looking forward to continuing our close teamwork with them.”
INTERPOL and the IOC have jointly published two handbooks to accompany their training activities: the Handbook on Protecting Sport from Competition Manipulation, and the Handbook on Conducting Fact-Finding Inquiries into Breaches of Sports Integrity.
The cooperation between INTERPOL and the IOC was formalized in a Memorandum of Understanding in January 2014.