UNODC and International Olympic Committee enter partnership to tackle corruption in Sport

Photo: UNODC6 October 2018 - While the presence of corruption and criminality surrounding sport is not a new phenomenon, the last decade has seen a noticeable increase in illegal activities designed to exploit sports for illicit gain. With the realization that many of the most profitable illegal activities involve a strong international dimension, UNODC and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have signed an agreement to fight competition manipulation and related corruption in sport.

Harnessing joint expertise, UNODC and the IOC, in strong collaboration with other partners such as INTERPOL, will conduct a wide range of activities, including providing technical assistance to Member States in the prosecution of competition manipulation, and delivery of national and regional joint training sessions.

The cooperation will also involve the development of standard-setting guides and tools, which will raise awareness and build the capacity of criminal justice communities and sports organizations to fight corruption in sport and address the threat to sport integrity posed by competition manipulation.

"UNODC views this new and enhanced partnership with the IOC as a cornerstone of the international community's action to fight corruption in sport," said Jean-Luc Lemahieu, UNODC Director for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs, speaking at the first-ever Olympism in Action Forum in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Friday.

This cooperation, Mr. Lemahieu continued, "will enable more effective coordination and cooperation which is key in stopping those looking to exploit sport for illegal or illicit gain".

UNODC and the IOC have collaborated on a number of projects and initiatives in the field of corruption and sport, such as the booklet and study on Criminal Law Provisions for the Prosecution of Competition Manipulation.

As part of their collaboration, UNODC and the IOC have also worked closely on the development and launch of the International Partnership against Corruption (IPACS), a multi-stakeholder platform with the mission "to bring together international sports organizations, governments, inter-governmental organizations, and other relevant stakeholders to strengthen and support efforts to eliminate corruption and promote a culture of good governance in and around sport."

The agreement comes at a time of growing international momentum to address this problem and to put into place strong counter measures. At the Conference of the States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption, the only international legally-binding anti-corruption instrument, a resolution on Corruption in Sport was adopted: a major milestone in tackling this crime. It sets out a wide range of issues to be addressed and measures to be promoted, including sport-related procurement, organization of sport events, competition manipulation, illegal betting, protection of reporting persons and good governance. At the time of its adoption the resolution was supported by 183 States.

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