The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), the independent body established by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to manage integrity issues in athletics, has set up a wide scale operation to monitor betting activities at the ongoing 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar.
The AIU will carry out monitoring and information sharing in conjunction with the International Olympic Committee Olympic Movement Unit on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions, the Council of Europe’s Copenhagen Group and Sportradar.
The unit will focus on identifying betting patterns and any betting anomalies in order to help prevent or identify market manipulation. This, if necessary, could lead to the AIU carrying out disciplinary proceedings under the Integrity Code of Conduct.
The AIU also carried out a series of educational sessions with athletes in the lead up to the multi-sport event, and will be continuing such efforts throughout the Championships, giving out advice and information from its Athletics Integrity Hub outreach and education booth.
“It is the AIU’s responsibility to proactively combat all forms of corruption and ethical misconduct in athletics, and that includes illegitimate betting practices and competition manipulation related to such activities,” AIU chairman David Howman said.
“The risk in athletics is currently low relative to some other sports, but with growth in key betting markets our activities are designed to get ahead of the curve and discourage unethical behaviour in our sport before it takes place.”
The project follows a similar initiative that the AIU rolled out during the 2017 edition of the IAAF World Athletics Championships in London, but will focus more on activity in Asia and Africa, after an increase in the popularity of sports betting in both regions, as well as in the expanding US legal wagering market.
Image: Marco Verch