Three Olympians Sanctioned for Gambling on Rio Olympics

Adding to a pile of controversies that continue well beyond the conclusion of competition in Rio (Ryan Lochte, ticket scalping by IOC officials, doping sanctions and those that never were really applied to Russia), the IOC has sanctioned 3 competitors from the 2016 Olympic Games for betting on Olympic competition.

  • Michael John Conlan, 24, Ireland – boxing
  • Steve Gerard Donnelly, 27, Ireland – boxing
  • Anthony Fowler, 25, Great Britain – boxing

All three athletes were given “severe reprimands” for their actions and each is “required to demonstrate, in order to have his accreditation validated for the next edition of the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020, in the event that he is eligible for that competition, that he has successfully followed the educational programme of the IOC.”

The wording regarding demonstrating compliance sounds very similar to the standard applied to allowing Russian athletes to compete in the Olympics, which, outside of track & field, had almost no force.

While the bets were made on boxing competition, none of the three had their results stripped. None of the three athletes advanced to any medal rounds.

One of the boxers, Conlan, infamously gave the judges the middle finger in Rio as a response to corruption allegations. Conlan, a former World #1 and the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, but was eliminated early in Rio. He subsequently announced that he will have his first professional bout in 2017 – though these allegations may impact his licensing.

Full press release, courtesy IOC, is below:

These measures included a fully operational Joint Integrity Intelligence Unit (JIIU) implemented in collaboration with experts from the Rio 2016 Organising Committee, as well as a reinforced Integrity Betting Intelligence System (IBIS) and, for the first time, the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions was implemented.

Participants at the Olympic Games are not permitted to bet on Olympic events and are obliged to report any approach or suspicion of manipulation.

The IOC today announced that three athletes have been sanctioned by IOC Disciplinary Commissions for violating the Rio 2016 Rules on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions. As there was no intent to manipulate any event, all three athletes have been issued severe reprimands and obliged to follow and contribute to various integrity educational programmes.

The details follow.

Michael John Conlan, 24, of Ireland, competing in the sport of boxing (AIBA), in the men’s bantamweight (56kg) event, placed bets on boxing events at the Olympic Games Rio 2016.

The IOC Disciplinary Commission, composed for this case of Denis Oswald (Chairman), Angela Ruggiero and Karl Stoss, decided the following:

  1. The Athlete, Michael John Conlan:
  • is found to have violated the Rules for the Application during the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro of the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of Manipulation of Competitions;
  • is sanctioned with a severe reprimand;
  • is required to demonstrate, in order to have his accreditation validated for the next edition of the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020, in the event that he is eligible for that competition, that he has successfully followed the educational programme of the IOC;
  • is required to support, through active participation, the education programmes organised by either the Olympic Council of Ireland, AIBA or the IOC.
  1. The Olympic Council of Ireland:
  • is sanctioned with a reprimand for not having properly informed its athletes about the content of the different rules applicable to them on the occasion of the Olympic Games in Rio, as well as about the content of the contract signed with them;
  • is requested to make sure that the team preparation for the Olympic Games (winter and summer) includes complete education on the prevention of the manipulation of competitions and betting on the Olympic Games, using the material provided to the NOCs by the IOC.
  1. AIBA:
  • is recommended to make sure that its rules and regulations for its own competitions are compliant with the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions and to put in place education programmes on the prevention of the manipulation of competitions and betting on the Olympic Games, using the material provided to the IFs by the IOC.

The full decision can be found here.

 

Steve Gerard Donnelly, 27, of Ireland, competing in the sport of boxing (AIBA), in the men’s welterweight (69kg) event, placed bets on various boxing events at the Olympic Games Rio 2016.

The IOC Disciplinary Commission, composed for this case of Denis Oswald (Chairman), Tony Estanguet and Karl Stoss, decided the following:

  1. The Athlete, Steve Gerard Donnelly:
  • is found to have violated the Rules for the Application during the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro of the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of Manipulation of Competitions;
  • is sanctioned with a severe reprimand;
  • is  required to demonstrate, in order to have his accreditation validated for the next edition of the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020, in the event that he is eligible for that competition, that he has successfully followed the educational programme of the IOC;
  • is required to support, through active participation, the education programmes organised by either the Olympic Council of Ireland, AIBA or the IOC.
  1. The Olympic Council of Ireland:
  • is sanctioned with a reprimand for not having properly informed its athletes about the content of the different rules applicable to them on the occasion of the Olympic Games in Rio, as well as about the content of the contract signed with them;
  • is requested to make sure that the team preparation for the future editions of the Olympic Games (winter and summer) includes complete education on the prevention of the manipulation of competitions and betting on the Olympic Games, using the material provided to the NOCs by the IOC.
  1. AIBA:
  • is recommended to make sure that its rules and regulations for its own competitions are compliant with the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions and to put in place education programmes on the prevention of the manipulation of competitions and betting on the Olympic Games, using the material provided to the IFs by the IOC.

The full decision can be found here.

Antony Fowler, 25, of Great Britain, competing in the sport of boxing (AIBA), in the men’s middleweight (75kg) event, placed bets on boxing events at the Olympic Games Rio 2016.

The IOC Disciplinary Commission, composed for this case of Denis Oswald (Chairman), Angela Ruggiero and Karl Stoss, decided the following:

  1. the Athlete, Antony Fowler:
  • is found to have violated the Rules for the Application during the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro of the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of Manipulation of Competitions;
  • is sanctioned with a severe reprimand;
  • is required to demonstrate, in order to have his accreditation validated for the next edition of the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020, in the event that he is eligible for that competition, that he has successfully followed the educational programme of the IOC;
  • is required to support, through active participation, the education programmes organised by either the British Olympic Association, AIBA or the IOC.
  1. The British Olympic Association:
  • is sanctioned with a reprimand for not having properly informed its athletes about the content of the different rules applicable to them on the occasion of the Olympic Games in Rio, as well as about the content of the contract signed with them;
  • is requested to make sure that the team preparation for the Olympic Games (winter and summer) includes complete education on the prevention of the manipulation of competitions and betting on the Olympic Games, using the material provided to the NOCs by the IOC.
  1. AIBA:
  • is recommended to make sure that its rules and regulations for its own competitions are compliant with the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions and to put in place education programmes on the prevention of the manipulation of competitions and betting on the Olympic Games, using the material provided to the IFs by the IOC.

The full decision can be found here.

The Rio 2016 Joint Integrity Intelligence Unit (JIIU) was responsible for the prevention, monitoring and assessment of any unethical activity related to the Olympic Games, and was 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 built on the experience acquired during London 2012, when the IOC operated a Joint Assessment Unit with the UK Gambling Commission – a system that proved successful.

The IOC’s IBIS, established in 2013, is a mechanism for the exchange of information and intelligence related to sports betting, and is a tool to protect Olympic events from competition manipulation. The IBIS mechanism is continuously strengthened through cooperation with betting operators and regulators that have signed agreements with the IOC who are responsible for monitoring betting activity during the Games and beyond and alerting the IOC directly when suspicious activity is detected. The system was reinforced recently with an enhanced monitoring and information exchange between law enforcement agencies, sports organisations and betting operators/regulators. All the Olympic International Federations that have signed up to IBIS  have their events safeguarded from manipulation by IBIS.

The Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions was approved in December 2015 by the IOC Executive Board, was implemented at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 and is currently being integrated into all International Sports Federations’ regulations.

Please click here for more information on the measures that were put in place in Rio.

 

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Sven
4 years ago

Should have doped instead. Might have gotten a medal out of it.

completelyconquered
4 years ago

The IOC did not like Conlan’s criticism when he lost to the Russian, or maybe Fancy Bears didn’t like him saying Putin payed for the Russian’s win.

G.I.N.A
Reply to  completelyconquered
4 years ago

Fancybears is not involved it is still an unknown known unknown who they are . What is clear is that they are smarter than your average bear unlike these 3 punks .

occasional traveler
4 years ago

How does fundamentally undermining the integrity of their sport not result in lifetime bans all around? And seriously, both responsible national associations defended these guys by claiming their athletes didn’t know that betting in your own sport is unethical and unsportsmanlike?

At least the IOC had the temerity to issue “severe” reprimands. That’s like a really, really hard slap on the wrist – maybe even using a ruler. No way anyone else ever does this again, now that they realize a severe reprimand could be the outcome.

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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