The third edition of the International Forum for Sports Integrity (IFSI) brought together key leaders from sports and international organisations, including the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) and its member federations. More than 100 stakeholders representing the Olympic Movement, intergovernmental agencies such as the Council of Europe, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), INTERPOL and EUROPOL, as well as sports betting operators, national regulating authorities, academics and other experts met in Lausanne on 28 October 2019 to discuss the prevention of competition manipulation in sport. The Forum was opened by the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach. All of the participants reaffirmed their determination to protect clean athletes and fair competition.
The programme of the full-day event was prepared by the Olympic Movement Unit on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions (OM Unit PMC), which was created as a result of the last IFSI. The dedicated Advisory Board to the Unit provides expertise, guidance and oversight and is composed of key representatives of the Olympic Movement: Olympic and non-Olympic International Federations (IFs), National Olympic Committees (NOCs), athletes and IOC members.
At the Forum, Advisory Board member and ASOIF President Francesco Ricci Bitti presented an update on the Unit’s activities and said: “A lot has been achieved in the last two years. The Unit has supported sports organisations and especially IFs in becoming compliant with the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions. On the educational side, the ‘Believe in Sport’ campaign was successfully launched at last year’s Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.” He continued: “Today and in partnership with UNODC, the Unit proudly presents a new Guide on Reporting Mechanisms in Sport. We also launch a new ‘Sports Investigators Network’.”
Both the new publication ‘UNODC-IOC Reporting Mechanisms in Sport: A Practical Guide for Development and Implementation’ as well as the Sports Investigators Network, which comprises 200 trained investigators from International and National Federations, NOCs and sports disciplinary bodies, will offer important support to IFs in their fight against competition manipulation.
The ASOIF President concluded that “the Unit shall continue to work tirelessly, in partnership and collaboratively with governments, inter-governmental organisations, sports organisations, betting entities and law enforcement agencies.”
Other panel discussions and expert presentations at the Forum covered important topics such as: prevention through regulation and education; information exchange and investigative procedures; how to ensure impartial and effective reporting mechanisms; the implications of the entry into force of the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions; collaboration between betting entities and sports organisations; and the coordination between sport and criminal investigators.
Click here to read the full IOC press release.