INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin - 6 February - 19 February 2018
published on 19 February 2018
This February, as the world focuses its attention on the achievements of athletes at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, thousands of police officers are working to keep the event safe and free from the influence of criminals. INTERPOL has a number of teams dedicated to the Olympics, including INTERPOL’s Major Event Support Team (IMEST) who works in close cooperation with the National Central Bureau in Seoul to facilitate the exchange of police information with our 192 member countries. In addition, INTERPOL’s Project Stadia is conducting an observation programme on security arrangements in PyeongChang, including counterterrorism and cybersecurity measures.
In particular, INTERPOL’s Match-Fixing Task Force (IMFTF), a global network of more than 80 specialists, is on the lookout for any attempts to manipulate the outcomes of Olympic competitions. INTERPOL General Secretariat officers were at the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s headquarters in Lausanne last week to observe the live sports betting monitoring system put in place for the ongoing Winter Olympic Games and discuss operational cooperation between the IOC and IMFTF.
The IOC signed agreements with ESSA (Sports Betting Integrity) and the Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS) with the objective to detect and prevent any risk of manipulation of competition at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
Over the past two weeks, Europe has been active in terms of investigations. In France, a six-month police investigation led to the arrest of a young man who attempted to bribe twice a young French tennis player for betting purposes. In the United Kingdom, Manchester United midfielder is set to face trial with 33 other players over a suspect May 2011 match between Real Zaragoza and Levante. In Malta, a judge declared the two former members of the Under-21 Maltese national football team as guilty of match-fixing.
In Italy, the police arrested the head of a top amateur cycling team and several associates suspected of giving cyclists performance enhancing-drugs. Also in terms of doping, the Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky has been formally charged with a doping offence by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after testing positive for the banned substance meldonium. The drug, which was banned in 2016, led to Russian tennis player and former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova being barred from competition for 15 months.
In terms of good practices, the European Handball Federation (EHF) extended its partnership with Sportradar to provide additional services aimed at safeguarding the integrity of competitions. Also, the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) sat alongside Sportradar at a press conference to outline its ambitious plan of safeguarding sport against both betting-related match-fixing and corruption.
Un homme arrêté dans une tentative de trucage de matches dans le tennis français
Le service de police Courses et Jeux a procédé mardi matin à l’interpellation d’un jeune homme suivie d’une perquisition et de saisie de matériel informatique à Oberschaeffolsheim dans la banlieue de Strasbourg. Il a été retenu en garde à vue et a reconnu avoir tenté de corrompre à deux reprises un jeune joueur de tennis français à l’automne dernier dans le but de procéder à des paris sportifs sur internet. Il comparaîtra devant la justice prochainement. C’est le résultat de six mois d’une enquête conduite par le Parquet National Financier, compétent en matière de corruption sportive.
Début septembre, alors qu’il débute dans le circuit professionnel sur le tournoi Future de Mulhouse (3ème niveau professionnel), un jeune espoir du tennis français reçoit sur son profil Facebook plusieurs messages d’un correspondant anonyme, dont un lui propose clairement 1000€, si, en contrepartie, le joueur accepte de perdre le premier set de son prochain match 6/0. Le joueur en question, que nous avons pu joindre mais qui souhaite conserver l’anonymat, a alors le réflexe de « suivre la procédure que les actions de sensibilisations aux risques de manipulation sportive lui conseillent ». Il en parle à son coach puis avertit le juge arbitre du tournoi qui en réfère à la fédération. La plate-forme nationale de lutte contre les manipulations de compétitions sportives, une structure pilotée par l’ARJEL (l’autorité de régulation des jeux en ligne) est alertée puis la justice dans la foulée. Rapidement une enquête préliminaire pour corruption active est ouverte par le Parquet National Financier.
Un mois plus tard, lors du tournoi Future de Nevers, le même joueur reçoit un nouveau message du même correspondant avec une proposition équivalente, 1000 € « versés en liquide ou par virement » pour perdre un set sur un score exact. La cote de ce type de pari est particulièrement rémunératrice, entre 10 et 20 fois la mise selon les sites et les matches. Des sites de paris situés à l'étranger
L’enquête du service Courses et Jeux a permis d’identifier le corrupteur en analysant les communications. Il s’agit, selon des sources proches du dossier, d’un jeune homme d’une vingtaine d’années qui présenterait une addiction aux jeux. Rien ne laisse supposer un lien avec un réseau organisé de corruption. En revanche les deux sites sur lesquels il pariait ne sont pas situés sur le territoire français. l’un Bet 3000 est allemand, l’autre 1XBet est lui plus sulfureux. Localisé dans l’état de Curaçao, un paradis fiscal au large du Vénézuela, ce site est fréquemment soupçonné d’être lié au crime organisé. L’ARJEL confirme d’ailleurs avoir fréquemment maille à partir avec 1XBet qualifié de « particulièrement agressif » sur le marché et qui revendique ouvertement dans ses publicités sa « qualité » de site illégal !
Cette affaire pose le problème de la vulnérabilité des joueurs de tennis face aux tentatives de manipulations de matches,
notamment dans les divisions inférieures (tournois Challenger et Future) où les gains sur le terrain sont plus faibles et où les
joueurs, au delà de la 250 ème place du classement ATP, ont souvent du mal à boucler les fins de mois. « 1000 € par semaine
c’est ce que peut espérer gagner au mieux un jeune pro quand il débute sur le circuit, cela tourne plus souvent autour de 100 ou
200 € », nous confirme le joueur contacté.
Une banalisation des tentatives de corruption ?
Se pose aussi la question d’une certaine banalisation de la tentative de corruption dans le tennis et de son contrôle. Visiblement, deux comptes ouverts sur des sites étrangers, une carte bleue et un faux profil sur un réseau social suffisent à un jeune parieur isolé pour tenter de truquer un match. Plusieurs joueurs nous confirment que recevoir ce genre de messages sur son réseau social n’est pas rare. Généralement ils préfèrent les ignorer et ils ne les signalent pas.
Source: Thierry VILDARY, 14 February 2018, FranceTV Sport
Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera set to face match-fixing trial with 33 other players over 2011 game involving former club Real Zaragoza
Ander Herrera has denied any wrongdoing after it emerged that he may stand trial over an alleged match-fixing scandal. The 28-year-old Manchester United midfielder has been warned that he faces being ordered into the witness stand with 33 other footballers including Atletico Madrid midfielder Gabi over a "suspect" May 2011 match between his former club Real Zaragoza and Levante.
Herrera issued a statement on Wednesday saying: "As I stated back in 2014 when this issue was raised, I have never had and never will have anything to do with to do with manipulating match results.
"If I am ever called to testify in a judicial hearing, I will be delighted to attend as my conscience is totally clear. I love football and I believe in fair play, both on and off the pitch."
Zaragoza's then manager Javier Aguirre also faces trial along with others including the club's former sporting director Antonio Prieto and its ex-owner Agapito Iglesias. The trial, seen as a certainty in Spain, is expected to be at least six months away. Respected regional newspaper Las Provincias claimed the 42 people involved could face prison sentences ranging from six months to four years if convicted. Prison sentences of less than two years for first-time offenders normally end up being suspended.
The bombshell news comes after a U-turn by Valencia-based investigating judge Isabel Rodriguez. Last July she archived a long-running probe into Zaragoza's 2-1 away win which kept them in La Liga. The investigation was reopened by Valencia's Provincial Court on January 25 following an appeal by state prosecutors and Deportivo La Coruna, the club relegated as a result of Zaragoza's win.
Reports in Spain say the main basis for the reopening of the case is the £848,450 Zaragoza paid into the accounts of Aguirre, Prieto and nine of their players days ahead of the May 21, 2011 match - and the scarce use Levante players made during the following weeks of their credit card and bank accounts.
El Pais said investigators suspect the Zaragoza players returned the cash deposited in their accounts to club managers so it could be passed on to the Levante players. It reported anti-corruption prosecutor Alejandro Luzon named Herrera as the recipient of two cash sums of £44,000 and £35,000. When she archived the case last year, Isabel Rodriguez said the existence of the bank transfers was "indisputable", but insisted she felt the evidence put forward by prosectors was not enough to consider the match had been fixed.
She said at the time the only certainty was that Zaragoza players and the then manager and sporting director had received money whose end use was unknown. The same judge has now finalised her probe, having been ordered to reconsider her shelving of the case last summer, and prepared the way for trial by concluding proceedings should continue in a higher criminal court.
Spain's equivalent of the Crown Prosecution Service will now have 10 days to lodge a formal accusation against 36 players including Herrera and Zaragoza's ex-manager and sporting director and formally request the opening of trial proceedings. Although defence lawyers can then appeal, the logical outcome would be for the trial to take place.
Las Provincias suggested criminal charges would be brought under section 286.4 Bis of Spain's Penal Code, which covers sport corruption. Spanish radio station Cadena Ser said: "There will be a trial and we will see all the players that were called up to play the match between Zaragoza and Levante that was allegedly fixed, being ordered to take the witness stand."
No-one was immediately available at Real Zaragoza, the club where midfielder Herrera began his career before moving to Athletic Bilbao in 2011 and then to Manchester United in 2014, or at Levante.
BACKGROUND TO THE CASE
The judicial investigation into alleged match-fixing over the May 2011 Levante-Zaragoza match began in January 2015. Investigating magistrate Isabel Rodriguez provisionally archived her probe last summer, but was asked to reconsider her original ruling last month after an appeal was lodged with a higher regional court. She has now concluded that she feels there could be grounds for a trial - and paved the way for state prosecutors to formally accuse those under investigation of wrongdoing in a written indictment and request the opening of trial proceedings.
Defence lawyers for those accused could launch a counter-appeal but it would be unlikely to succeed. Predictions are that it will "five to six months" before the trial date is known. Any trial would take place in public, with all the accused including the footballers having to attend. Judicial investigations in Spain like this one into alleged match-fixing take place behind closed doors in Spain and can take years to complete.
Trials are the only part of the judicial process that are open to the press and public under Spanish criminal law and are normally much shorter than in the UK. Formal charges against suspects are only normally laid just before trial. Investigating magistrates - judges who carry out pre-trial criminal probes - are a feature of the French and Spanish legal systems but do not exist in England.
Source: Gerard Couzens, 7 February 2018, Mail Online
Two Under 21 national players found guilty of match-fixing
The acquittal on match fixing charges of two former members of the Under-21 Maltese national football team has been overturned on appeal. Kyle Cesare, 22, and Emanuel Briffa, 23, who last month were hit by a life ban issued by UEFA’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Board, had originally been cleared of association for the purpose of committing a crime and of bribery of players.
The pair had been charged after a teammate turned whistleblower had alleged they had been bribed to fix the Malta-Montenegro European championship qualifier match played on March 23, 2016. A court of Magistrates had cleared the two footballers of the charges in August 2016, ruling that the young players were immature and that their judgment had been clouded by peer and social pressure. Cesare and Briffa had been declared not guilty because they had acted under "an extraneous force which they could not resist".
But judge Giovanni Grixti, presiding the Court of Appeal, observed that there was no evidence to support the first court’s conclusion, pointing out that even the accused’s lawyers had not taken up this line of defence. The Court said it failed to understand how the Magistrates’ Court could have safely reached its conclusion when "evidence, even if indicative, was unequivocal and pointed in one direction.” The two players had not reported the approach to the authorities, rather had held two other meetings and had formulated a plan to lose the match. It was this plan that the court felt was sufficient to constitute the crucial element of the offence, which the first court had said was missing, the judge observed.
In view of this, the Attorney General’s appeal was upheld, and the earlier judgment revoked. The judge declared the two footballers guilty of the charges, handing them two-year conditional discharges as they are first-time offenders.
Source: 6 February 2018, Independent
Italy cycling team head arrested in doping investigation
Italian police have arrested the head of a top amateur cycling team and several associates suspected of giving cyclists performance-enhancing drugs. Police raids took place in Lucca and elsewhere in Tuscany, media report. Luca Franceschi - owner of Altopack-Eppella - and five other top team officials are under house arrest.
The sudden death of a young Lithuanian cyclist last May - 21-year-old Linas Rumsas - raised suspicions. He had been among the top racers in Italy. Rumsas's parents Raimondas and Edita had been investigated for alleged doping in 2003. In that year Raimondas, a professional cyclist, was suspended for a year after testing positive for the banned drug EPO in the Giro d'Italia.
Police said Mr Franceschi had "recruited the most promising cyclists, encouraged them to take drugs and procured the doping substances for them, including EPO in microdoses". Police also allege that Mr Franceschi's parents - Narciso and Maria Luisa - hosted team cyclists in their home after races and let them inject drugs there.
Besides EPO, performance-enhancing growth hormones and painkillers were also allegedly administered. Police found 25 vials of EPO in a fridge when they raided the home of Michele Viola, one of the team's trainers. Altopack's sports director Elso Frediani and a pharmacist, Andrea Bianchi, are the other suspects under house arrest. Lucca police are also investigating 17 others. Police searches also took place in Pistoia, Livorno and Bergamo provinces.
Source: 8 February 2018, BBC
Russian curler banished from Winter Olympics after failed drug test
The Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky has been formally charged with a doping offence by the Court of Arbitration for Sport after testing positive for the banned substance meldonium. He is now likely to be stripped of his mixed curling bronze medal, won with his wife Anastasia Bryzgalova last week, and there are also growing questions about the International Olympic Committee’s decision to allow 168 Russians to compete here under a neutral flag despite the country’s massive state-sponsored doping programme in Sochi.
But as Krushelnitsky was leaving the Winter Olympics on Monday morning his Olympic Athletes of Russia team-mates were insisting that he was innocent. “We were all shocked when we found out,” said Viktoria Moiseeva. “Of course we very much hope it was some kind of mistake. With us it’s not faster, higher, stronger; it’s about being more accurate. I can’t imagine what kind of drugs you could use in curling … so it’s very hard to believe.”
Krushelnitsky has told Russian officials he fears a team-mate who was not selected for the Winter Olympics spiked his drink with meldonium at a training camp before he travelled to South Korea. The drug, which was banned in 2016, led to Russian tennis player and former world No 1 Maria Sharapova being barred from competition for 15 months.
Russian curling federation president Dmitry Svishchev said Russian curlers had been tested on 22 January before flying out to South Korea and the tests were negative. “I have known these guys for many years,” he said. “Only a crazy person takes banned substances before a competition, before the Olympics. It’s a strange story. It raises a lot of questions.”
Russian Olympic delegation spokesman Konstantin Vybornov added that he would not comment on the charge until the results of Krushelnitsky’s “B” sample were announced. He also accused foreign media outlets of running “misleading” reports, but did not give further details. “I spoke to a person who previously headed the anti-doping laboratory, and he said that curlers don’t need meldonium. In his opinion, this is some kind of political act. ‘You are victims of conspiracy,’” he said. “Do I believe that? I don’t know,” Andrei Sozin, the Russian curling federation vice-president, told Komsomolskaya Pravda, a pro-Kremlin newspaper. “The federation gives its word: we don’t know how this scandal has arisen. [Doping] contradicts the federation’s principles.”
In December the Russian Olympic Committee was banned from the Winter Olympics and ordered to pay $15m in costs in after making what the IOC called an “unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport” following a massive state-sponsored doping programme that corrupted the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.
Russian athletes were only allowed to compete in Pyeongchang under a neutral flag providing they were cleared by an anti-doping panel. However the IOC had left open the possibility that they would be able to march under their own flag at Sunday’s closing ceremony. That now looks an increasingly slim prospect. The IOC said it would make its decision at an executive board meeting on Saturday.
“I hope it’s not true ... for the sport of curling,” said Norwegian team skipper Thomas Ulsrud. “If it’s true I feel really sad for the Norwegian team who worked really hard and ended up in fourth place and just left for Norway and they aren’t even here.”
However the Danish skip Madeleine Dupont appeared unconvinced that performance enhancing drugs would help in a sport such as curling. “I think most people will laugh,” she said. “And say ‘what do you possibly need doping for?’”
The Court of Arbitration Anti-Doping Division confirmed Krushelnitsky’s case had been passed to them in a statement. “Further to a request from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Cas ADD has initiated a procedure involving the athlete Aleksandr Krushelnitckii (mixed curling; OAR),” it said. “No hearing date has been fixed yet and no further information will be provided at this point.”
Source: Sean Ingle, 19 February 2018, The Guardian
Bulgarian Football Union launches comprehensive Integrity Tour with Sportradar
Today, the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) sat alongside Sportradar at a press conference to outline its education strategy that will see 32 workshops per season covering referees, BFU officials and all football players from the 1st and 2nd professional leagues along with individual e-learning modules and assessments each year.
The powerful statement of intent, a pledge to the fans and all the stakeholders of Bulgarian football, is reinforced by the fact that attendance of the workshops and completion of the e-learning modules and assessments will be mandatory for all players playing at 1st and 2nd professional leagues.
“On behalf of the Bulgarian Football Union, I’m very delighted to sign this contract. As President of the BFU, I promise my full support to this initiative. I am in no doubt that I speak for all my collegues in our Federation in this regard”, Mr Mihaylov said about the agreement.
“This agreement means a lot to us. We are taking a step forward, supplmenting the monitoring of the games already in place with a powerful educational strategy. I believe that organizing workshops all around the country will help us to present our position and so keep the integrity mission growing. This tour is one of our top priorities for the next few months“, said Deputy general secretary Pavel Kolev
“We all know how important it is to have such an educational strategy in place, because we have to bring integrity issues into sharp focus for the players, coaches, referees and all the relevant football stakeholders. Needless to say, we have to clearly outline the grave consequences of taking part in the manipulation of match results and events”, revealed the Integrity Officer’s statement Mario Kosturkov
Secretary General of Minister of Sport Assen Markov said: “We warmly welcome Sportradar’s educational strategy and congratulate the BFU on their strong stance in the battle against match fixing. I can assure everyone here that the Ministry of Sport will channel its backing to support this initiative.”
Adding his thoughts, Sportradar Group Director Sales Southern Europe, Mr. Alex Gerontikos had this to say: “Any federation that shows this level of commitment will always get our support. We are honoured that the BFU has come to us to devise the ambitious plan of safeguarding and securing sport, its participants and stakeholders against both betting-related match-fixing and corruption. There is a lot of work to do and we are fully committed to deliver!”
The press conference was held in the National Football Center in Sofia and the event was attended by the Secretary General of Minister of Sports Mr. Assen Markov, BFU Deputy General Secretary Mr. Pavel Kolev and BFU Integrity Officer Mr. Mario Kosturkov.
Source: 14 February 2018, Sportradar
ESSA (Sports Betting Integrity)
ESSA (Sports Betting Integrity) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) join forces to safeguard the integrity of the Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018
Brussels, 6 February: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and ESSA (Sports Betting Integrity) signed an agreement with the objective to detect and prevent any risk of manipulation of competition at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. ESSA, an international betting integrity body, already contributes already to the IOC’s Integrity Betting Intelligence System (IBIS) and will reinforce the intelligence work of the IOC during the upcoming Games. In particular, it will make available one of its full-time monitoring operators in order to ensure that all betting patterns in relation to the Olympic events are carefully monitored to detect and prevent any potential risks.
Friedrich Martens, Head of the Olympic Movement Unit on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions (OM PMC) said on the occasion of the agreement: “Preserving the integrity of the Games is of paramount importance for the International Olympic Committee. In order to achieve this we need the experience, expertise and intelligence from all operators and stakeholders involved. ESSA, with which we have enjoyed a fruitful cooperation for years, will surely have a significant contribution thanks to its network and know-how”.
Khalid Ali, Secretary General of ESSA added: “This collaboration between ESSA and the IOC demonstrates the depth of trust and respect that has been built between us over a number of years. It also highlights our shared ambition to drive corruption out of sport and regulated betting markets. The integrity of the Games will undoubtedly be enhanced as a result of this partnership.”
Source: 6 February 2018, ESSA
European Handball Federation (EHF)
EHF adds integrity services to Sportradar partnership
The EHF partnership with Sportradar, the world’s leading supplier of sports and betting-related data, has been extended to provide additional services aimed at safeguarding the integrity of the federation’s competitions
The multi-year deal will supplement the existing relationship between the EHF and Sportradar, which already sees the company provide a range of data, streaming, marketing and digital services across European Cup club competitions.
In this new development, Sportradar’s fraud detection services will be employed to safeguard a range of EHF competitions, including the VELUX EHF Champions League, Women’s EHF Champions League and EHF EURO events, from potential threats through the use of its world-leading monitoring tools.
The EHF will also be able to call on Sportradar’s intelligence and investigation services, which utilise a team of dedicated intelligence experts to help investigate any organisations or individuals who may be targeting European competitions.
Sportradar’s monitoring tools have been implemented since the start of the year. The Men’s EHF EURO 2018 in Croatia in January 2018 being the first major international EHF event to be monitored.
The company also provided further information on its services during the EHF EURO, with a seminar for delegates and referees held during the event’s final weekend.
Commenting on the new agreement, the EHF Secretary General, Martin Hausleitner, said: “The EHF is committed to protecting the integrity of its flagship club and national team competitions. This further extension to our cooperation with Sportradar brings us in line with many other leading sports organisations and will provide us with the tools and support to be able to maintain European handball’s reputation worldwide.”
Sportradar’s Managing Director of Integrity Services, Andreas Krannich added: “We are very pleased to be able to provide our integrity services to the EHF as we forge an ever-stronger bond with this forward-thinking federation. Our expert team has been monitoring matches from the start of the year, using our unique and world-class intelligence and detection systems to flag any attempts to manipulate or corrupt this incredible sport.”
Source: 8 February 2018, European Handball Federation
Winter Olympics in PyeongChang
INTERPOL at the Olympics
As the world focuses its attention on the achievements of athletes at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Korea, thousands of police officers are working to keep the event safe and free from the influence of criminals.
The Olympics, like all major events, can be exploited by criminals due to:
Large gatherings of people
Increased border traffic
Intense media exposure
Opportunities for financial gain
For this reason, INTERPOL has several special teams dedicated to the Olympics:
IMEST: INTERPOL Major Event Support Team
Based in the International Police Cooperation Centre in PyeongChang, the IMEST has instant, direct access to INTERPOL’s databases. In tight cooperation with the National Central Bureau (NCB) in Seoul, it will facilitate the exchange of vital police information with our 192 member countries.
INTERPOL Match-Fixing Task Force
As part of its partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), INTERPOL’s Match-Fixing Task Force (IMFTF), a global network of 80 specialists, is on the lookout for any attempts to manipulate the outcomes of Olympic competitions.
The IMFTF is on standby should any betting irregularities be detected, and will facilitate contact between the IOC’s Chief Ethics and Compliance Officers and the Korean National Police. Information will be shared through the INTERPOL NCBs in Seoul and Bern.
INTERPOL’s Project Stadia is conducting an observation programme of security arrangements in PyeongChang, including counterterrorism and cybersecurity measures. They will share their findings via Project Stadia’s Knowledge Management System (SKMS), an online collaborative platform where experts can share, discuss, analyze and publish information on the evolving aspects of major sporting event security.
Source: 16 February 2018, INTERPOL
GLMS and the IOC join forces to safeguard the integrity of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS) signed an agreement with the objective to detect and prevent any risk of manipulation of competition at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. The GLMS which is already actively operating to support the IOC’s Integrity Betting Intelligence System (IBIS) will reinforce the practice of technical intelligence by the IOC during the upcoming Games. In particular, GLMS will have a Betting Analyst working directly at the IOC HQ in Lausanne in order to ensure that betting patterns in relation to the Olympic events are effectively monitored to detect and prevent any potential risks.
Friedrich Martens, Head of the Olympic Movement Unit on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions (OM Unit PMC) said on the occasion of the agreement: “Safeguarding the integrity of the Games is of paramount importance for the International Olympic Committee. In order to achieve this we need the experience, expertise and intelligence from all operators and stakeholders involved. GLMS, with which we have enjoyed a fruitful cooperation for years, will surely have a significant contribution thanks to its network and technical know-how”.
Ludovico Calvi, GLMS President, said: “The Olympics have always been a source of inspiration for all mankind, and this is particularly true this year. We are pleased and proud that the GLMS will be again contributing and supporting the IOC and specifically the Olympic Movement Unit on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions and safeguarding this unique power of the Olympics to bring the world together and promote sport values.”
Source: 6 February 2018, GLMS Sport
ODDS AND ENDS
Korea (Rep. of)
Pyeongchang Olympics present more security threats than usual, but athletes and fans have reason for hope
Fighter jets streaked over the mountains that winter day. The snowboarders recall them roaring past every 15 minutes or so. Many of the top names in snowboard cross racing had gathered in Pyeongchang in early 2016 to test the course that would be used for the 2018 Winter Olympics. At some point, after the jets zoomed past yet again, American boarder Nate Holland turned to teammate Seth Wescott.
"Dude, I just want you to know I love you," he recalls saying. "Like, if this trips off right now, we're in a horrible spot."
Barely 50 miles separate Pyeongchang's mountain venues from the Demilitarized Zone, a swath of land that for decades has provided a tenuous buffer between North and South Korea. This proximity puts the Games at the center of a potential nuclear face-off. But the political climate here — unlike the frigid weather — has warmed in recent weeks.
North Korea agreed to participate in the Olympics, sending a contingent of 22 athletes across the border. At the same time, angry rhetoric eased between the nation's leader, Kim Jong Un, and President Trump.
With thousands of South Korean national police saturating the Pyeongchang area, officers standing on street corners in bright yellow coats, the question is: Do these Games still pose a security risk? And if so, what is the biggest potential threat?
"The Games are like the Super Bowl in a way," says Steven Weber, a University of California professor who studies international politics. "They will always be a target."
The specter of violence has shadowed this international sporting event since the "Munich Massacre" of 1972, when Palestinian gunmen stormed the Israeli team's living quarters in an attack that ultimately left 11 hostages and a German police officer dead.
More recently, London went on alert during the 2012 Summer Olympics, and a Chechen rebel leader called for militants to "do their utmost to derail" the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Both competitions went off safely, but when athletes and fans arrived at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, they faced a different sort of worry — the Zika virus outbreak.
"Almost every Olympics has some kind of scandal or security threat or something that everybody's talking about," veteran luger Erin Hamlin said. "So I've been through it before."
Tensions on the Korean peninsula began to ease on New Year's Day when Kim made a public overture that was well-received by South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Last-minute negotiations led to deal by which North Korea will compete in several sports and march with South Korea at the opening ceremony on Friday. The nations also will field a joint women's hockey team.
All of this was welcome news for IOC President Thomas Bach, who spoke at a Sunday news conference about the "positive messages" he has received from both governments.
"We are very happy with the development on this front," he said.
Not that everything has gone smoothly. There has been backlash in the South, where much of the population remains distrustful of Kim and protesters recently burned his image in the streets. North Korea canceled a joint cultural event and changed the date of a military parade in its capital, Pyongyang, to the day before the Games begin.
"There is no pretending that's a coincidence," said Tim Powdrill, an associate director with Risk Advisory, a London-based security management group. "It hints at the underlying fragility of the process."
The neighboring countries have a history of violence around major sporting events. Before the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the downing of Korean Air Flight 858 was attributed to North Korean agents. During the 2002 World Cup, a naval clash between the nations resulted in numerous deaths.
Experts do not foresee that degree of trouble during the upcoming Games. Even a missile test by North Korea seems less likely than it did a month ago.
"That would make headlines, occurring just 100 miles from where the Games are taking place," Weber said. "But there have been indications that North Korea has backed off and it wouldn't surprise me if some quiet bargains were made."
The more likely threat comes from a familiar source — terrorism.
"South Korea is in a part of the world where you have ISIS and Al-Qaeda spinoffs in the Philippines and Indonesia," Weber said. "It's not an isolated, safe place."
With an estimated 1 million fans visiting the region, the Games present a high-profile target. Nearly 3,000 athletes from more than 90 nations are expected to compete at a dozen venues, and they can be difficult to safeguard. South Korea's national police force said it will deploy as many as 13,000 officers to augment local law enforcement and is working with the FBI and Interpol to monitor potential terrorist threats.
U.S. Forces Korea has 28,000 troops in the country that could be called upon in a crisis. The State Department has sent an additional 100 diplomatic security officers to protect Americans here. Steve Goldstein, the under secretary for public diplomacy and public affairs, said the U.S. remains "very confident that South Korea is going to be putting on a happy, successful and strong Winter Games."
U.S. Olympic Committee officials expressed similar faith in the host nation, seeming more at ease than they were before the Games in Rio, where street crime was a concern. Asked about larger-scale threats, USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun said recently: "Should the unthinkable happen and there is conflict between the nations, that's not an issue for the U.S. Olympic Committee to get involved in."
Members of the U.S. team echo that attitude. Athletes tend to shrug off any mention of risk at the Games, preferring to stay focused on their performance and the dream of winning gold.
"I just am pretty much relying on security to be at its best," said Jessica Kooreman, a short track speedskater.
Kooreman recalls feeling safe in Sochi, where two warships anchored just off the coast. But this time feels a bit different.
Bobsledder Steve Langton spoke with his parents about whether they should attend the Games. Snowboarder Ryan Stassel said his mother has asked once or twice about security in South Korea. After that snowboard cross test event, Holland had doubts about his wife and young daughter coming to Pyeongchang.
"You've got Kim Jong Un on one hand and Donald Trump, two really level-head guys … so what could go wrong?" he said.
His wife insisted on attending and eventually he relented.
"I guess if we're going down," he said, "we're going down as a family."
Source: 6 February 2018, Los Angeles Times
Council of Europe
Resolution no. 2200 (2018) “Good Football Governance” adopted on 24 January 2018 by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Too little money harms football, too much is killing it. We need to prevent football from self-destructing. Football and sport in general must be a vehicle for the transmission of our common values and contribute to their protection. A radical change in the culture of football governance at all levels is needed, so that it is firmly based on respect for human rights and the rule of law, internal democracy and participation, transparency and responsibility, compliance with the highest ethical values, solidarity and concern for the common good.
In order for football, and sport in general, to uphold these values, the conduct of everyone involved must be beyond reproach. Football cannot be a lawless zone; the independence of supervisory bodies and accountability must be effectively ensured. In addition, closer co-operation between sports organisations and international organisations, at both global and regional levels, is required to promote human rights in and by sport.
It is necessary to end the tendency to conceal, ignore, play down and trivialise overindulgences. The stakeholders should collaborate to end the financial excesses to which football strays. FIFA and UEFA should set up a joint “working table” bringing together other stakeholders to discuss financial fair play, player ownership, the status of agents or intermediaries and other issues. The European Commission and the Council of Europe’s Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport should be invited to participate in this working table and the Parliamentary Assembly could contribute to this joint work.
The authorities of the European Union, in concertation with the IOC, FIFA, UEFA and the Council of Europe, could examine the feasibility and promote the establishment of an independent observatory entrusted with assessing the governance of football.
Source: Anne BRASSEUR, 6 February 2018, Council of Europe
Resolution on Corruption in Sport adopted by the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption at its Seventh Session in Vienna on 10 November 2017
The UN Resolution on Corruption in Sport represents a significant milestone in addressing corruption in sport, not least the fact that it was supported by the 183 States parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). It covers a wide range of issues, including that of competition manipulation and given that it is now available in all official languages of the United Nations.
The different language versions can be accessed through the links to the official report of the conference below. Readers should look for resolution 7/8 on Corruption in Sport:
Source: 6 February 2018, United Nations
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