INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin - 2 July 2019 - 15 July 2019
In Indonesia, a court sentenced to jail six people, including a former referee and members of the national soccer association, in the country’s first trial over match-fixing, which was connected to a game in Indonesia’s third tier league in 2018. The suspects were charged under the country’s fraud statute that can result in a maximum jail term of three years.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissed Skenderbeu’s appeal against a 10-year exclusion from European competitions as judges agreed UEFA’s ban and fine were proportionate and justified. In Belgium, KV Mechelen have won their appeal at the Belgian Arbitration Court for Sports (BAS) and will not be relegated to the second division as the Belgian Football Association had initially ruled.
A former Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) vice-president has been ordered to pay a US$79 million penalty stemming from the FIFA bribery scandal. The 76-year-old is accused of 12 corruption offences, including racketeering, corruption and money laundering but denies wrongdoing.
Topics such as racism and discrimination have been updated in FIFA’s Disciplinary Code. The fight against match manipulation has also been simplified and the Disciplinary Committee is now the only body competent to deal with match manipulation matters at FIFA level.
Thirty-three countries, INTERPOL, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) joined forces in the Europol-coordinated operation Viribus for a massive crackdown on the trafficking of doping materials and counterfeit medicines. The operation, led by the Italian NAS Carabinieri and co-led by the Financial Unit of the Hellenic Police, is the largest action
The International Partnership against Corruption in Sport (IPACS) decided during a meeting of its Steering Committee to set up a new task force in order to increase the cooperation between criminal justice authorities/law enforcement and sport organisations. The new task force will take stock of existing anti-bribery legislation applicable to the private sector, and create a list of existing networks of judicial authorities / law enforcement agencies through which its work could be supported and promoted.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have agreed on a Memorandum of Understanding aiming at strengthening their collaboration on promoting ethics, integrity and good governance, as well as peace and sustainable development in sport.
Lastly, INTERPOL and the IOC have conducted a Law Enforcement Investigators’ Training for agencies across the Nordic-Baltic region, with a focus on sports and competition manipulation, transnational investigations, evidence collection and evaluation, betting monitoring and working with sports authorities. The two-day training brought together 40 representatives from law enforcement and anti-corruption agencies in Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland and Sweden.
We welcome submissions on best practices, major developments, new trends and relevant articles for publication in the bulletin.
The next bi-weekly bulletin will be circulated on Monday, 29 July 2019.
Court upholds Albanian club’s 10-year UEFA ban for fixing
GENEVA — The longest ban ever imposed on a club by UEFA for match-fixing linked to betting scams has been upheld by sport’s highest court.
The years-long case was resolved Friday after an investigation that implicated a former finance minister of Albania and the Skenderbeu club president, and saw UEFA reveal its staff were subjected to death threats.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport dismissed Skenderbeu’s appeal against a 10-year exclusion from European competitions.
CAS said its judging panel “found to its comfortable satisfaction that Skenderbeu was responsible for match-fixing activities” in domestic and continental matches.
The judges agreed UEFA’s 10-year ban and fine of 1 million euros ($1.13 million) “were proportionate and justified.”
The club’s appeal was heard in Switzerland in April in relative secrecy after UEFA investigators received death threats during their work.
Using evidence of betting patterns, UEFA investigators found suspected fixing of two Champions League qualifying games and two Europa League group-stage games in 2015.
UEFA also suspected Skenderbeu of helping fix around 50 domestic matches since 2011.
Skenderbeu won seven Albanian league titles in the past decade.
UEFA previously suspended Skenderbeu from the 2016-17 Champions League as an interim punishment pending a fuller investigation.
That one-year ban was upheld in a previous CAS judgment which revealed details of UEFA’s investigation.
UEFA raised concern about the club’s ties to betting companies, and the influence of Ridvan Bode, a former government finance minister, and club president Ardjan Takaj.
After one Champions League qualifying game against Crusaders, the Northern Ireland club’s goalkeeper wrote about his suspicions on Twitter.
Skenderbeu had a four-goal aggregate lead late in the second leg in Northern Ireland when the quality of its defensive play slumped, allowing Crusaders to score twice and win the game 3-2. UEFA noted the volume of bets placed on late goals to be scored.
UEFA suggested Skenderbeu’s “defending in this final period was a serious concern, with erratic decision making and a lack of effort displayed during the final minutes by several players. This collective defensive effort can only be viewed with serious concern given the betting patterns witnessed during this stage of the match.”
UEFA raised further concerns about a subsequent Champions League qualifying loss against Dinamo Zagreb, and Europa League group-stage losses against Sporting Lisbon and Lokomotiv Moscow. In all three games Skenderbeu was not expected to win. Players were implicated by UEFA who it said gave an “extremely questionable defensive performance.” They included Bajram Jashanica, a Kosovo international defender who UEFA later banned for two years for a positive doping test.
UEFA has described Bode and Takaj as “leading persons of the Albanian club,” which had “links to betting companies by means of sponsors or several individuals.”
The case was a landmark for UEFA in 2016 for proceeding with a prosecution that relied so much on betting patterns as the main evidence, having cited “the lack of active cooperation shown by Albanian authorities.”
The 10-year ban exceeds an 8-year exclusion from UEFA competitions imposed on Pobeda of Macedonia for fixing Champions League qualifying games in 2004.
Skenderbeu placed fourth in the Albanian league last season, and was barred from taking a place in the Europa League qualifying rounds.
Source: 12 July 2019, Washington Post
KV Mechelen off the hook in matchfixing case after all
In football, KV Mechelen have won their appeal at the BAS (the Belgian Arbitration Court for Sports) against an earlier ruling. The Belgian Football Association had ruled that KV Mechelen was to be relegated to second division as a result of matchfixing, but this decision has now been overturned: Mechelen can stay in the top flight after all. The BAS did not say anything about the content: it just ruled that relegation cannot be a punishment according to the Belgian FA's rules.
KV Mechelen allegedly bribed Waasland-Beveren to stay in the top flight one year ago: Waasland-Beveren were safe, but "Malinwa" needed 3 points if they wanted to avoid relegation. Both teams met on the last day of play. Mechelen won it, but were relegated after all because challengers Eupen also won.
Last season, KV Mechelen gained promotion from the second division and they also won the Belgian Cup, beating top flight club Gent in the final. However, their success was overshadowed by the matchfixing probe. While Waasland-Beveren were let off the hook by the FA, KV Mechelen were relegated, but the Mechelen club decided to appeal against the decision with the BAS, with success.
KV Mechelen will not be relegated, but could still lose their European ticket and Cup ticket for next season. The BAS decision is a bummer for Beerschot-Wilrijk, who had hoped to take the place of KV Mechelen after becoming runners-up last season in the second division, and also for Sporting Lokeren who were relegated last season.
The BAS had to announce a decision since the European competition is coming nearer, and as the preparation for the new domestic season is already underway, but the uncertainty about these European tickets still remains.
Source: 10 July 2019, VRT NWS
Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)
FIFA introduces innovative approach with launch of new Disciplinary Code
After almost 15 years without any major changes to its Disciplinary Code, FIFA´s new vision has now been reflected in the 2019 edition. The new code has been developed in consultation with the six confederations and other key football stakeholders. It is better structured, clearer, more concise (down from 147 articles to 72), more transparent and incorporates innovative modifications in the context of FIFA’s disciplinary proceedings.
Content-wise, topics like racism and discrimination have been updated, putting FIFA at the forefront of the fight against this appalling attack on the fundamental human rights of individuals.
In consultation with the Fare network, the principle of zero tolerance on racism and any form of discrimination has been updated in line with FIFA President´s recent statement to the effect that discrimination has no place in football and FIFA will not hesitate to tackle any form of discriminatory behaviour. There are three important points to highlight in this regard:
The scope, definition and content of our anti-racism and anti-discrimination vision have been fully aligned with the highest international standards, including the prosecution of any discrimination on account of race, skin colour, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation, language, religion, political opinion, wealth, birth or any other status or any other reason;
As a general rule, a match is automatically forfeited if the referee decides to abandon it after having applied the three-step procedure for discriminatory incidents;
For reoffenders involved in racist or discriminatory incidents or if the circumstances of the case require it, the disciplinary measures now include the implementation of a prevention plan to foster education on diversity and fight discrimination in football.
Also, FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee may permit the victim to make a statement, allowing the latter to participate in the proceedings. FIFA will not let down victims of racist abuse.
The fight against match manipulation has also been simplified and the Disciplinary Committee is now the only body competent to deal with match manipulation matters at FIFA level.
Another key principle of the new code is FIFA´s commitment to enforce both financial and non-financial decisions and agreements rendered by the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber and the Players’ Status Committee, as the natural forums of disputes between clubs, players, associations, coaches and other football stakeholders, through the Disciplinary Committee.
FIFA must use its prominent global position to deliver financial justice, and where relevant, to exercise its power as world football’s governing body.
In this area, the new code contemplates three main changes:
FIFA will enforce ordinary CAS awards: the mechanism provided to enforce CAS appeal proceedings has been extended to ordinary CAS awards, with the result that all CAS decisions will now be enforced by FIFA.
FIFA will impose a transfer ban on clubs not paying outstanding amounts until they have paid all of their debts. A transfer ban has been shown to be the most effective instrument for this purpose.
FIFA will act against the sporting successor of a debtor, a practice that has unfortunately become more common in recent years as clubs attempt to avoid mandatory financial responsibilities towards other clubs, players, managers, etc.
Also, in the interests of respecting the rights of individuals and transparency during proceedings, FIFA has decided to close the gap that exists between individuals in terms of their financial power by supporting those who have insufficient financial means at disciplinary proceedings. FIFA legal aid will provide financial support as well as access to adequate counsel who will act on a pro bono basis.
Moreover, for the first time, certain types of disciplinary hearings – concerning doping and match-manipulation cases – will be open to the public if the parties request it.
Finally, a dedicated FIFA website (legal.fifa.com) will be launched in the final quarter of 2019 containing the main decisions passed by the FIFA judicial bodies as well other useful legal resources.
These, and many more, are the fundamental changes of the new FIFA Disciplinary Code, which will come into force on 15 July 2019. It will provide FIFA with a unique legal instrument to confront the many disciplinary issues that it and its stakeholders will face in the future in a reliable and innovative manner.
Source: 11 July 2019, FIFA.com
Soccer-Indonesia court jails six in first trial over match fixing
JAKARTA — An Indonesian court has handed down jail sentences to six people, including a former referee and members of the national soccer association, in the country’s first trial over match-fixing, according to a statement on the court’s website.
The three-month trial at the Banjarnegara district court on Java island was connected to a game in Indonesia’s third tier league between Persibara Banjarnegara and PSIP Pemalang in 2018.
Pemalang had won the game 1-0, but the Persibara manager later reported to authorities suspicions of match-fixing, resulting in a police investigation
The suspects were charged under the country’s fraud statute that can result in a maximum jail term of three years.
The six, who had already been banned for life from working in soccer in Indonesia, received sentences of up to three years in jail as well as fines.
A lawyer for Tjan Ling Eng, a former executive committee member of Indonesian soccer’s governing body (PSSI), said his client would decide next week whether to appeal his 21-month jail sentence.
“My client did not commit match fixing in the third tier league,” lawyer Kairul Anwar said by telephone.
Soccer is hugely popular in Indonesia but the local leagues have long been dogged by allegations of widespread match-fixing and corruption.
Akmal Marhali, an activist at a non-governmental group Save Our Soccer, welcomed the prosecution.
“This is the first time that a match-fixing case in soccer has been brought to prosecution. Other times the PSSI just imposed sanctions on its members,” he said by telephone.
The Southeast Asian country was also barred from international soccer in 2015 due to government meddling in their domestic league, shutting them out of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup. The ban was lifted in 2016.
Source: 12 July 2019, National Post Football
Trinidad & Tobago
US judge orders Warner to pay US$79M in CONCACAF case
Former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner has been ordered to pay a US$79 million penalty stemming from the FIFA bribery scandal. The Associated Press reports that a federal judge in New York City imposed the judgment against Warner on Tuesday, in a lawsuit brought by the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF). The 2017 suit accused Warner of embezzling millions of dollars from the soccer association. It said he arranged kickbacks in connection with broadcasting rights for regional tournaments. The civil allegations mirrored ones in a U.S. criminal investigation that has resulted in convictions of several top soccer officials. Warner is still fighting extradition in Trinidad and Tobago, where he has denied any wrongdoing. He has not left Trinidad and Tobago since he was named in the indictment in May 2015 and remains on bail. The 76-year-old is accused of 12 corruption offences, including racketeering, corruption and money laundering but denies wrongdoing.
Source: 10 July 2019, Trinidad and Tobago Guardian
Authorities fear an increased threat of corruption in women’s sport as interest rises
The unprecedented interest in women’s sport will create some unforeseen challenges. But authorities already recognise one unwanted consequence: heightened risks of corruption.
Soaring viewing figures for women’s sport – led by the Football World Cup, in which 11.7million in the UK watched England’s semi-final – have been matched by the amount bet on matches. This is creating new opportunities for corruptors who want to fix games. Both Fifa and the International Cricket Council have intensified their efforts to safeguard the sports.
So far, £225million has been traded on the sports betting exchange Betfair during the World Cup, compared with £92million in 2015. England’s semi-final against the US had £14million traded on it – the record for any women’s game before this World Cup on Betfair was £7.5million.
The amounts on Betfair are just a fraction – well under five per cent – of the total bet on the tournament worldwide, both legally and illegally.
Worldwide, only about 15 per cent of sports betting is legal and fully visible to regulators, according to the International Centre for Sport Security, so it can be impossible for authorities to follow the money.
Prior to the World Cup, Fifa introduced regional integrity workshops, aiming to help all 24 competing nations educate players and share best practice to prevent questions about integrity clouding the competition. All referees also received integrity briefings.
An integrity task force was created before the competition, with Fifa consulting police forces. In-game monitoring of betting markets has been conducted at a hub in Paris. This entails analysing markets in real time for suspicious patterns. Fifa also provides confidential reporting platforms for players and officials, while the Fifa Integrity App provides a platform for anyone who would like to report a potential breach of regulations.
Vincent Ven, Fifa’s head of integrity, said: “Protecting competitions from the threat of match manipulation is paramount to Fifa. Fifa continues to implement a range of measures with all relevant integrity stakeholders to proactively prevent, detect and respond to any suspicious activity and/or any attempt to manipulate a match. Education, prevention and raising awareness at all levels of football is particularly key. Ahead of each Fifa competition, Fifa delivers a range of seminars and activities to help educate member associations and confederations – as well as players, coaches and referees – in this area.”
Concerns are heightened by the financial disparities between teams. Both in this year’s Women’s World Cup and last year’s cricket T20 World Cup, players paid increasingly well by the leading teams competed against semi-professionals. Some national boards still afford the women’s game scant attention and funding. The disparities open up the risks of corruptors targeting poorly remunerated players.
Darren Bailey, a consultant for Charles Russell Speechlys’ sports group who has worked with many governing bodies on integrity matters, said: “The rewards on offer in the overwhelming majority of women’s sport remain low when compared to their male counterparts. This is a vulnerability in the context of potential approaches by fixers.”
Sports matches with a large TV audience and at least one team poorly paid are highly susceptible. Vassilis Barkoukis, from Aristotle University, said: “Our research showed that athletes not being paid, or not being paid regularly, in sports that are not under strict supervision but included in betting are more vulnerable to match-fixing. I think women’s sports fall into this.”
One potential problem area, an insider said, is women’s football in South America, because interest is growing at a far faster rate than player salaries.
While there are not believed to be any concerns about match-fixing during the World Cup, several recent incidents illustrate how corruptors are targeting the women’s game.
In 2017, the coach of a women’s team in Macedonia was suspended by the national football association after allegedly telling players to concede a goal on purpose. In 2018, Spanish police made a series of arrests for match-fixing at many levels, including in the women’s first division. Also last year, three Belgium Under-16 players reported being approached and offered $50,000 to fix a game.
While sums bet on domestic women’s sport generally remain small – just £600,000 was matched on the Women’s Super League on Betfair last season – the relative lack of scrutiny creates opportunities.
When players have fixed matches once, corruptors can threaten to expose them unless they continue. Players could be targeted at under-age matches – as has happened in men’s sport – in the hope that some will rise to the international game, when they may feel they have no choice but to continue to fix.
“The challenge is more problematic outside major tournaments when less funding is available,” said Bailey. He suggested greater funding for anti-corruption education in domestic women’s sport, helping to prevent players from being groomed.
Academic studies suggest women are less likely to cheat, or break the rules, generally. So far this seems to have held true for sport. In tennis, the vast majority of the match-fixing cases to date have come on the men’s tour.
“As women’s sport grows in terms of revenue, so will the threats. The sooner governing bodies and relevant stakeholders act in a united front the better,” said Emanuel Medeiros, the chief executive of the International Centre for Sport Security Europe. “No sport is immune to corruption.”
Source: 6 July 2019, The Telegraph
Europol, INTERPOL, Joint Research Centre (JRC), European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)
Keeping sport safe and fair: 3.8 million doping substances and fake medicines seized worldwide
Thirty-three countries*, INTERPOL, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) joined forces in the Europol-coordinated operation Viribus for a massive crackdown on the trafficking of doping materials and counterfeit medicines. The operation, led by the Italian NAS Carabinieri and co-led by the Financial Unit of the Hellenic Police ( ), is the largest action of this kind ever.
Over the last 20 years, the worldwide trade in anabolic substances has increased significantly. The trade in doping substances is normally decentralised and highly flexible, open to anyone willing to order online or travel to producing countries and buy the substances in bulk from legitimate manufacturers. Mainly the final consumer, often gym fanatics and bodybuilders, determines the patterns of this trafficking. Athletes use anabolic-androgenic steroids and/or substances to improve endurance and performance, to reduce body fat and stimulate muscle growth. However, these substances can severely damage human health. They increase the risk of heart attacks and arteriosclerosis, damage the reproductive system, the liver and the kidneys and increase the risk of cancer.
Animals are also not spared from this dangerous activity. Without much care for the wellbeing of their animals, owners use hormones to intensify breeding, to fatten up farm animals or to enhance performances in sport competitions, especially horse races.
Shutting down underground labs was one of the main objectives of the operation: nine were detected and closed in European countries and almost 24 tons of raw steroid powder were seized.
But what is an underground lab? A clandestine lab for illegal drug production can be set up with relatively few resources or even in a garage. With some guidelines available on the internet, criminals do not need chemical skills to produce extremely toxic doping substances and counterfeit medicines. Usually, organised crime groups run these labs and sell the illegal material on the black market. Individuals can also run smaller labs. The produced doping substances are sold online or in local gyms, sports centres, illegal street shops and local markets.
Operation Viribus also focused on doping checks during sports events, 1 357 checks (blood and urine tests) have been carried out in some of the participating countries.
Doping checks are a routine procedure for any athlete taking part in competitions. The tests usually take place at the end of the competitions (in-competition checks) or during training or friendly games (out-of-competition checks).
Overall results during the entire operation:
3.8 million illicit doping substances and counterfeit medicines seized (seizures included doping substances, dietary supplements, medicines and sport and food supplements);
17 organised groups dismantled;
9 underground labs disrupted;
234 suspects arrested;
839 judicial cases opened;
Almost 1 000 individuals reported for the production, commerce or use of doping substances.
Latest trends detected during the operation:
wholesalers are importing huge amounts of steroids to feed the illegal market;
non-professional athletes, bikers and body-builders are buying small parcels of steroids, mainly from Asia or eastern Europe to traffic them to gyms-;
increased use of social media for advertisement, promotion and sale of anabolic products;
small organised crime groups are investing in illegal labs and selling the doping substances;
continuous growth of unauthorised and unregulated online pharmacies, also on the dark-web;
a larger use of rechargeable credit cards and cryptocurrencies to perform transactions. [...]
Source: 8 July 2019, Europol
International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
IOC joins forces with OECD under new agreement
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have agreed on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aiming at strengthening their collaboration on promoting ethics, integrity and good governance, as well as peace and sustainable development in sport. The agreement was signed in Lausanne by IOC President Thomas Bach and OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.
The collaboration between the IOC and OECD will focus on:
combating corruption and promoting integrity in sport, including through the International Partnership against Corruption in Sport (IPACS);
promoting responsible governance for sports organisations and sports events;
fostering major sports events that aim to promote sustainable growth and development; and
developing tools to evaluate the contribution of global events to local development and citizens’ well-being, based on rigorous and evidence-based analysis.
“Whilst the IOC’s vision is to build a better world through sport, the OECD works to build better policies for better lives. Therefore our organisations have many synergies it is a natural match,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “The IOC is looking forward to making the best use of the OECD’s remarkable expertise in anti-corruption and in addressing social, economic and environmental challenges. We will also spread its evidence-based solutions within the Olympic Movement,” the IOC President added.
“I am pleased to have signed this Memorandum of Understanding with the IOC. It is the next important step in our cooperation after the OECD and the IOC have been both founding partners of IPACS. This MoU illustrates our common objective to combat corruption, to promote integrity in sport, to ensure responsible business conduct, and to foster sustainable and inclusive growth which helps improve the integrity and credibility of sports organisations,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.
This cooperation with the OECD is another step forward by the IOC in its new approach to good governance and the fight against corruption. With Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC has turned the page. However, it still has to deal with issues and cases from before these reforms, and does so with great determination. The partnership with the OECD will facilitate these efforts.
For instance, the OECD will support the IOC in protecting the integrity of sport by providing guidance to the organisers of the Olympic Games Paris 2024 on how to mitigate the risks of corruption linked to procurement. Such guidelines will also be useful for the organisers of other future Games or major sports events. The IOC’s and OECD’s collaboration in this area will complement the work of the International Partnership Against Corruption in Sport (IPACS), of which both organisations form part.
The IOC and the OECD will also work together to maximise the impact of their activities aimed at contributing to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The IOC already aims to ensure that sustainability is included in all aspects of the planning and staging of the Olympic Games, and that the host cities can leverage the Games as a catalyst for their sustainable development.
As part of the agreement, the IOC will promote the OECD’s Recommendation on Global Events and Local Development within the Olympic Movement. The Recommendation provides guidance on how events can be deliberately designed and executed to generate long-term benefits, in particular positively impacting communities and contributing to economic growth and development. In this context, the IOC and the OECD will work with the organisers of the Olympic Games Paris 2024 to develop tools to evaluate the contribution of their Games edition to local development and citizens’ well-being, based on rigorous and evidence-based analysis.
Source: 4 July 2019, International Olympic Committee
ODDS AND ENDS
International Partnership against Corruption in Sport (IPACS)
IPACS steps up cooperation between criminal justice authorities and sports organisations
The International Partnership against Corruption in Sport (IPACS) decided during a meeting of its Steering Committee, held in Paris on 1 July 2019 and hosted by the French Presidency of the Council of Europe, to set up a new task force in order to increase the cooperation between criminal justice authorities/law enforcement and sport organisations.
IPACS is an initiative of the IOC, the Government of the United Kingdom, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)-G20, the Council of Europe and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and it is composed by other international sports organisations, governments and inter-governmental organisations.
While sports organisations can impose sanctions on corruption occuring within their jurisdiction, criminal justice authorities have a leading role to play in dealing with criminal offences. These often prove to be of a transnational or international nature, hence adding to the complexity of how cases are dealt with.
Enhanced cooperation between criminal justice authorities and sport will generate greater efficiencies and longer lasting impacts. Jean-Yves Lourgouilloux, Deputy Financial Public Prosecutor of France, joined yesterday’s meeting to share his insights on this very topic.
The new task force
To start with, the new task force will take stock of existing anti-bribery legislation applicable to the private sector, and create a list of existing networks of judicial authorities / law enforcement agencies through which its work could be supported and promoted.
Roxana Mrcineanu, Minister for Sport of France and also an Olympic medallist in swimming, said during her welcome remarks: “It is essential for our institutions to be able to adapt to the reality of the rapid changes and new positioning of sports organisations. We must listen to them while conveying to them the importance of sport’s integrity. The aim is to contribute to the ethical behaviour and integrity of sport, permeating the culture of the sporting world, as well as the pursuit of pure sports performance.”
Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, emphasised during her introductory speech: “The better we do, the more credibility we will have, and the more pressure will build on other countries from all continents to work with us and adopt the standards and practices that should stamp corruption out of sport. IPACS can be the catalyst then not just for effective and realistic action among current member states, but around the world.”
During presentations by the other IPACS task forces, the Olympic Games delivery company for Paris 2024, SOLIDEO, presented the mechanisms set up to ensure ethical procurement for the Olympic Games Paris 2024. Regarding the prevention of conflicts of interest in the awarding process of major sports events, a list of recommendations for sports organisations and governments is currently being expanded with practical examples to facilitate implementation. In addition, the IPACS Steering Committee decided to strengthen the good governance criteria put forward by the sports movement (ASOIF) by including anti-bribery processes developped by inter-governmental organisations.
After the meeting, held at the offices of the Council of Europe, IOC Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer Pâquerette Girard Zappelli said: “Our meeting was very fruitful. There is a real sense of partnership and strong backing by all attending organisations and governments to support the sports movement in mitigating the risks against corruption in sport. The new task force adds another important element to IPACS’ portfolio and shows the evolution of its mandate.”
IPACS was launched at the IOC’s International Forum for Sports Integrity (IFSI) in February 2017 following a call made by leaders at the 2016 London Anti-Corruption Summit for a coordinated response to tackle corruption in sport. It is a multi-stakeholder platform with the mission of bringing together international sports organisations, governments, inter-governmental organisations, and other relevant stakeholders to strengthen and support efforts to eliminate corruption and promote a culture of good governance in and around sport. The core group is composed of the IOC, the Government of the United Kingdom, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Council of Europe and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Find out more at www.ipacs.sport.
Source: 2 July 2019, International Olympic Committee
INTEGRITY IN SPORT EVENTS
Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland and Sweden
INTERPOL and IOC boost sports corruption investigations in the Nordic-Baltic region
TALLINN, Estonia – INTERPOL and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have conducted a Law Enforcement Investigators’ Training for agencies across the Nordic-Baltic region, with a focus on sports and competition manipulation, transnational investigations, evidence collection and evaluation, betting monitoring and working with sports authorities.
The two-day training (2 and 3 July) brought together 40 representatives from law enforcement and anti-corruption agencies in Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland and Sweden. It was hosted in close cooperation with the Estonian Central Criminal Police, with strong support from the INTERPOL National Central Bureaus of each country involved, as well as experts from the International Ice Hockey Federation and the IntegriSport Erasmus+ Project.
Opening the training, Aivar Alavere, Head of Central Criminal Police, Estonian Police and Border Guard Board welcomed participants, reminding them that fraud and corruption were just as present in sport as in other areas of society. He stressed the importance of raising awareness at all levels, including with athletes, coaches, federations, sponsors and betting offices.
During the session, participants learned how INTERPOL’s policing capabilities and Match Fixing Task Force (IMFTF) could boost their efforts to tackle competition manipulation.
The IMFTF supports member countries in match-fixing investigations and operations in all sports, and maintains a global network of specialized investigators who share information, intelligence and best practices. The IMFTF currently has 84 member units, with more than 120 national points of contact worldwide.
This is the fifth such course delivered by INTERPOL and the IOC this year, who recently announced the expansion of their joint global training programme until 2021.
Source: 9 July 2019, INTERPOL
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