Protecting clean athletes and the integrity of the Olympics will be a top priority for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2016. This message was reinforced during a National Integrity in Sport workshop held jointly with Interpol in Rio de Janeiro from 30 to 31 May.
Addressing representatives from Brazilian police forces and the government, the IOC explained how it will operate a Joint Integrity Intelligence Unit (JIIU) in collaboration with experts from the Organising Committee. Two days of training for law enforcement officers and prosecutors in investigating match-fixing and organised crime will also take place in Rio this week.
The IOC and INTERPOL also used the workshop to jointly launch the ‘Handbook on protecting sport from competition manipulation’. This new publication offers a useful guide to understanding the dynamics of competition manipulation and learning how to put in place national measures to prevent match-fixing and other corruption.
The JIIU will be responsible for the prevention, monitoring and assessment of any unethical activity related to the Olympic Games, and will be supported by the Department of Federal Police (DPF) and the Secretariat of Security for Major Events (SESGE) as well as INTERPOL when needed, such as in the event of a criminal act.
The JIIU is building on the experience gathered during London 2012, when the IOC operated a successful Joint Assessment Unit with the UK Gambling Commission. The IOC’s Integrity Betting Intelligence System (IBIS), a mechanism for the exchange of information and intelligence, will be a tool for the JIIU to prevent Olympic events from competition manipulation. All the Olympic Summer International Federations as well as various betting operators have signed up to IBIS.
Pâquerette Girard Zappelli, IOC Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, said: “This two-day workshop, part of the IOC-INTERPOL Global Capacity Building and Training Initiative, brought together all the key players and was an invaluable opportunity to discuss possible scenarios.
“In the lead-up to the Games, we are working closely with international police forces, Brazilian police and the Rio 2016 organisers to set up the necessary processes and coordinate actions for Games-time. As an organisation, the IOC can deal with disciplinary matters related to the Olympic Games; however, we will then rely on the Brazilian authorities and their jurisdiction for criminal and security matters.”
Luiz Fernando Correa, Rio 2016 Olympic Games Organising Committee Security Director, stated: “Rio 2016 is fully committed to and engaged in the prevention and investigation of any form of crime against sport during the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Thus, Rio 2016 established the Joint Integrity Intelligence Unit with the IOC in order to guarantee the integrity of sport in partnership with the Brazilian authorities.”
Rogério Augusto Viana Galloro, Executive-Director, Brazilian Federal Police, noted: “The integrity of sport all over the world is increasingly being threatened, with organised criminal groups trying to develop new ways of targeting the professional sport sector. A coordinated international prevention strategy, as conducted by INTERPOL and the IOC, is vital to tackle crime in sport.”