30 Jan 2022 – The Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 are just around the corner. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has put in place a number of sound measures to protect the integrity of the Olympic events, aimed at both preventing and dealing swiftly with competition manipulation. Here is an overview!
Monitoring of sports betting
Sports betting on all Olympic competitions has been monitored since the Olympic Games in 2008, and Beijing 2022 will be no exception. The Olympic Movement Unit on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions (OM Unit PMC), via its platform IBIS and with its partners, will monitor sports betting on all Olympic competitions.
These partners include Sportradar, the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA), the Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS), the Council of Europe’s network of national platforms (Group of Copenhagen), major betting regulatory authorities and a large number of private sports betting companies from around the world. The 24/7 monitoring will be carried out remotely at Olympic House in Lausanne (Switzerland).
Risk assessment of each sport
During the last few months, the OM Unit PMC conducted a thorough assessment of the seven winter sports and 15 disciplines on the Beijing 2022 programme in relation to the risks of potential competition manipulation linked to sports betting. The findings were shared with the International Sports Federations (IFs).
During the Games, the IOC will retain a direct link with all the IFs concerned in order to flag any breach of the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions (OM Code PMC). It is equipped to carry out a preliminary investigation and assist with setting up a Disciplinary Commission, if needed. In addition, the IOC will cooperate closely with various law enforcement authorities to address any cases where collective and joint follow-up is appropriate and necessary.
Prevention plays a key role in the fight against competition manipulation. The IOC’s dedicated campaign “MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION” provides a wealth of educational material, such as a self-explanatory Code of Conduct in more than 20 different languages, an elearning course, an educational toolbox and much more.
The Code of Conduct is at the heart of the campaign and sums up the rules that all athletes, coaches and officials need to be aware of: in Beijing, any accredited person must not bet on any Olympic events, or share inside information or, of course, manipulate a competition. In addition, it is obligatory to report any information on a potential breach of integrity via the IOC Integrity Hotline.
In order to disseminate this important information efficiently to the athletes, the entourage members and officials participating in the Games, the IOC has collaborated closely with all IFs and National Olympic Committees (NOCs). The latter are responsible for selecting the national delegations and sending them to the Games. Accordingly, during the last few months and weeks, many NOCs have conducted online seminars or organised physical sessions, to inform their team members about what competition manipulation entails and how it can be prevented. They have also widely distributed the Code of Conduct, and some of them have gone even further to integrate the campaign tools into their delegation’s app or develop additional interactive quizzes and explanatory films.
A number of athlete ambassadors, selected in close collaboration with the IFs and the NOCs, have been supporting these activities, with peer-to-peer communication having proved highly successful in the past. Ambassador Danka Bartekova, an Olympic medallist in shooting and a member of the IOC Ethics Commission, explained: “It is critical to protect the integrity of sport. Match-fixing and illegal betting completely ruin the passion of sport that all athletes have. We want to be clean, we want to play fair; and this is why we need to educate the athletes on this issue, so they are aware of how to protect their sport, and themselves.”
Click here to learn more about the ambassadors.
Coordinated approach and harmonised regulations
Since PyeongChang 2018, this is the third Games edition where all the measures outlined above will be overseen by the dedicated OM Unit PMC, set up by the IOC in 2017 and an integral part of the IOC Ethics and Compliance Office. This Unit oversees the implementation of the OM Code PMC, which forms part of the Olympic Charter. It is aimed at providing sports organisations with harmonised regulations to protect all competitions from the risk of manipulation and support them to develop effective activities against the threat.
Learn more about the various IOC integrity initiatives here.