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26 October 2017

Competition manipulation focus of joint INTERPOL and IOC training in West Africa

DAKAR, Senegal - A series of workshops on competition manipulation has been held in West Africa by INTERPOL and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The first event, a Regional Integrity in Sport Workshop (25 October), brought together more than 50 representatives from law enforcement, government, betting entities and sports organizations from Cameroon, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal in order to help address the criminal challenges posed by competition manipulation and other threats to the integrity of sport.

Training was provided by INTERPOL, the IOC and the Française des Jeux (FDJ). The event was attended by the President of Senegal's National Olympic Committee, Mamadou D. Ndiaye, as well as by the country's former President of the Ethics Commission of the IOC, Youssoupha Ndiaye and Seydina Bocar Yague, Director General of Senegal’s Judicial Police.

Opening the event, Mr Yague pointed to the importance of creating synergy between all stakeholders. “The term ‘integrity in sport’ should not be used in vain. Match-fixing is an ever-present, global challenge. With major amounts of money in play via both legal and illegal betting, we must recognize that no organization can tackle this issue alone.”

Paul Stanfield, Director for Organized and Emerging Crime at INTERPOL's General Secretariat headquarters, said: "Crimes in sport cross international borders and generate huge profits which are then channelled into other illegal activities. Underpinned by our partnership with the IOC, a coordinated prevention strategy for protecting sports from competition manipulation is vital, and must involve a wide range of stakeholders on national, regional and global levels."

Following the regional workshop, partnership development meetings were organized on 26 October for representatives from the five participating countries.

These meetings foster collaboration and a coordinated approach between high level representatives from law enforcement, various sporting bodies, justice, betting industry and other actors involved in preventing the infiltration of crime into sport. They also assist countries in setting up concrete strategies and national, regional and international cooperation mechanisms required for the prevention and investigation of competition manipulation.

INTERPOL and the IOC signed a Memorandum of Understanding in January 2014. Since then, the two organizations have widened the scope of their joint activities, including close collaboration during the Olympic Games and capacity building around the world through a joint Global Integrity in Sport Capacity Building Programme.