IOC and UNODC Publish Paper on Tackling Corruption in the Return to Sports

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), INTERPOL and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have published a paper together illustrating the steps that need to be taken to tackle corruption in sports following the coronavirus pandemic. 

The paper is titled, “Preventing Corruption in Sport and Manipulation of Competitions.”

It touches upon many points pertaining to the most common form of corruption: doping. Including a reminder that, “The temporary absence of sport events does not necessarily eliminate sports integrity issues such as addressing corruption in sport and specifically preventing the manipulation of competitions. At the same time, the re-starting of competitions and events after the crisis, requires extra preventative measures and vigilance.” 

The paper also outlines a two step system to combat corruption in the return to sports. The first step addresses the immediate situation presented by shutdowns amid the coronavirus and includes points such as:

  • Developing tools to detect and report corruption in sport
  • Ensuring all support provided for athletes is used for its proper purposes

The second step is intended to be used in the future, as athletes return to the “new normal” and are allowed to compete again. The overarching points of this section include:

  • Developing national systems between law enforcement and sports agencies to combat corruption offenses. 
  • Ensuring legislation is in place to punish those who work to corrupt sports. 

This publication comes during an unprecedented time in sports in which competitions around the world were canceled in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Due to the pandemic, several countries including Russia and Canada suspended their doping programs, while the United States moved to an online program.

The Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) recently published a survey Third Review of International Federation Governance, which measured federations on five different categories, including control mechanisms directed towards corruption. FINA, the governing body for aquatic sports around the world, scored among the worst of the 31 federations surveyed. 

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