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28 April 2017

Tackling match-fixing focus of INTERPOL and IOC meetings in Thailand

BANGKOK, Thailand - Meeting the challenges posed by competition manipulation and other threats to the integrity of sport was the focus of a joint International Olympic Committee (IOC) and INTERPOL workshop and of a separate meeting of the INTERPOL Match Fixing Task Force (IMFTF).
Bringing together more than 70 participants from law enforcement, the National Olympic Committee (NOC), National Sport Federations and public authorities in Thailand, the IOC-INTERPOL workshop (26 April) addressed the global threat from competition manipulation, sports betting and their impact at the national level.
The one-day workshop identified current best practice in preventing competition manipulation and corruption in sport, in addition to recognizing ways of responding to possible breaches of integrity.
Opening the session, IOC Member Nat Indrapana said that the country’s first INTERPOL-IOC National Workshop was crucial to protecting its youth.
“The Olympic values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect must not be jeopardised by unethical behaviour such as competition manipulation. The NOC of Thailand is committed to safeguarding sport from competition manipulation,” said Mr Indrapana.
Police Major General Suriboonya from the Royal Thai Police and Head of the INTERPOL National Central Bureau in Bangkok stressed the importance of coordinated outreach in understanding the criminal challenges posed by competition manipulation, illegal betting and money laundering.
The workshop was held under the umbrella of a partnership agreement between INTERPOL and the IOC to tackle competition manipulation in sport with a focus on prevention, training and capacity building.
Following the workshop, the 9th meeting of the IMFTF was held (27 - 28 April) – for the first time outside of Europe – with a view to extending coverage of the task force’s activities to other continents.

A total of 42 officers from 18 countries, together with 11 stakeholders from sports associations and private consultancies, joined the meeting and discussed the challenges and strategies in fighting against match-fixing on a global scale. The task force explored ways to enhance cooperation between law enforcement agencies and the various stakeholders, as well as the development of joint investigation initiatives.
Set up in 2011, the task force counts 77 member units and supports member countries in match-fixing investigations and operations in all sports, and maintains a global network of match-fixing investigators. The initiatives of the task force are currently financed by the Dutch National Police.