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15 June 2016

IOC and INTERPOL fact-finding training to protect sport’s integrity

LAUSANNE, Switzerland - How to effectively collect and establish facts in relation to reports or suspicions of competition manipulation within sports organizations was the focus of a training session jointly organized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and INTERPOL.

The two-day (13 and 14 June) event addressed the need for an effective, coordinated response from the sports world to the threat of match-fixing and related corruption.

The training for 30 representatives from 26 International Olympic Federations (Ifs) was presented in the context of an unfolding scenario, which begins with an allegation of manipulation of a competition.

During the exercise, participants learnt how to:

  • conduct fact-finding inquiries into suspicions or allegations of competition manipulation;
  • establish the facts of the allegation or suspicion; and
  • report the findings to a disciplinary panel.

Elements discussed included the regulatory basis for fact-finding inquiries; inquiry planning; information gathering and sharing; risk management; interviewing methods; stakeholder collaboration and coordination; and cooperation between sports disciplinary and criminal investigatory proceedings.

IOC’s Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, Pâquerette Girard-Zappelli said: “International Federations have an important role to play in protecting the integrity of their respective sports. They oversee major events and have valuable intelligence when it comes to technical aspects as well as performance levels. Such training opportunities are therefore invaluable and we are thankful for our constructive collaboration with INTERPOL in this regard.”

This week’s training also saw the launch of the INTERPOL-IOC Handbook on Conducting Fact-Finding Inquiries into Breaches of Sports Integrity. The Handbook will be an important reference document for experts in National Olympic Committees and IFs to make complex, challenging inquiries more manageable, transparent and accountable.