LYON, France – Global efforts to protect and secure international sporting events have taken another leap forward following an agreement signed between INTERPOL and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
A Memorandum of Understanding signed by INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble and IOC President Thomas Bach will provide a framework for enhanced collaboration between the two organizations.
INTERPOL will work with the IOC to identify and address issues which could affect the security and integrity of matches and competitions, such as doping, match-fixing and illegal or irregular sports betting activities, and attempted corruption of match officials and players, particularly during the Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games.
IOC President Thomas Bach said: “INTERPOL has the ability and the necessary instruments to instigate cross-border investigations, coordinate different law enforcement bodies, and gather intelligence. In our determined fight to protect the integrity of sport on behalf of clean athletes, INTERPOL’s involvement is absolutely crucial. The MoU has further cemented the close relationship we already enjoy.”
The agreement also provides for the world police body to give additional support to the IOC in ensuring the security of international matches and competitions.
“As the world’s largest law enforcement organization, it is natural for INTERPOL to team up with the International Olympic Committee to secure and protect such universal events as the Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.
“It is by providing the widest possible law enforcement support to global sports events that fans, competitors and officials can enjoy them as safely and securely as possible. Without our collective commitment and action against threats such as illegal and irregular betting, the confidence in fair play by the public and our youth will erode and eventually vanish.
“INTERPOL’s agreement with the International Olympic Committee therefore represents a significant step forward in protecting the integrity of sport,” concluded the Head of INTERPOL.
The signing of the agreement between INTERPOL and the IOC came ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi, Russia (7-23 February).
In a separate agreement with the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee signed in October 2013, the world police body will provide additional support to the Brazilian authorities in ensuring the safety and security of the event by deploying an INTERPOL Major Events Support Team (IMEST) to Brazil.
An IMEST is deployed to assist member countries in the preparation, coordination and implementation of security arrangements for major events. The first IMEST was deployed in 2002 to the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, USA. To date, more than 90 teams have been deployed to countries across the world, including to Summer and Winter Olympics and Paralympics, as well as to international football events.
In 2011 INTERPOL created its Integrity in Sport Unit as part of a 10-year venture it agreed with FIFA to target match-fixing as well as illegal and irregular betting across the globe.