9 July 2020 – United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), INTERPOL and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with the support of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and World Rugby held a two-day virtual workshop for the Asia-Pacific region aimed at tackling the manipulation of sport competitions on 7 and 9 July 2020.
The temporary absence of sport events does not necessarily eliminate sports integrity issues such as addressing prevention of manipulation of sport competitions. At the same time, the resumption of sport competitions after the pandemic, requires extra preventative measures and vigilance. Placing the integrity of sport at the centre of any response is key to ensuring that sport emerges from this challenge as strong as possible.
The virtual workshop brought together 250 registered participants from 18 countries in the region and served to highlight existing good practices and examples of how law enforcement, criminal justice authorities, sport organizations and related stakeholders could prevent, detect and sanction the manipulation of sport competitions.
Delivering the opening remarks, Ms. Annika Wythes, UNODC Regional Anti-Corruption Adviser, stressed that the increasing interest in finding a way to strengthen the integrity of sport is in keeping with recent regional and international efforts taken to help address the problem. Joint activities such as the webinar during COVID-19 represented a significant value-add in coordinating international efforts to strengthen integrity in sport.
Ms. Makarita Lenoa, Fiji NOC President, expressed her appreciation to the IOC, INTERPOL and UNODC and underlined that the webinar provided the NOCs of the Pacific region with an opportunity to find out more about the risk of competition manipulations.