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19 October 2015

Peru gears up to protect sport’s integrity

LIMA, Peru - Protecting clean athletes from competition manipulation was the focus of a workshop on sports integrity organized jointly by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and INTERPOL.

Attended by more than 70 representatives from the Peruvian National Olympic Committee (NOC), national sports federations, local police forces and the judicial system, the event was another tangible result stemming from Olympic Agenda 2020.

“It is about developing a coordinated national approach that really enables us to protect our athletes and the integrity of sport,” said Iván Dibós, IOC Member from Peru. He added: “First everybody needs to understand the real threat of competition manipulation and how it can destroy the spirit of sport. Then we need to find together efficient ways of preventing and responding to possible competition manipulation and corruption in sport in Peru, as well as at national and international events.”

During the one-day (Friday 16 October) workshop participants identified the strengths and weaknesses of the current Peruvian system to deal with cases of competition manipulation, with the IOC and INTERPOL providing relevant strategies, tools and best practice.

As part of its Anti-corruption and Financial Crimes unit, INTERPOL’s Integrity in Sport programme aims to develop a greater understanding and awareness of the wider issues linked to match manipulation and other associated crimes.

“Ensuring that those directly involved in the sporting world have the information and training they need to avoid becoming potential targets for criminals is just one aspect of combating match manipulation and corruption,” said Tim Morris, INTERPOL’s Executive Director of Police Services.

“Whilst law enforcement has a central role to play in tackling the crime of corruption, this is also a wider issue which requires commitment from society as a whole to promote, develop and maintain respect for the rule of law,” added Mr Morris.

José Quiñones González, President of the Peruvian NOC, said: “I think this meeting was an eye opener for all of us and certainly the starting point of a much better collaboration between the key players who are needed to prevent and to fight competition manipulation in our country. I would like to thank the IOC, INTERPOL and all other speakers for their invaluable advice.”

In addition to learning from top experts, such as the UK Gambling Commission, simulation exercises based on real-life scenarios enabled the participants to experience how specific operational collaboration between sport, law enforcement and betting regulators and operators can work.