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IOC implements safeguarding measures for Beijing 2022

| By Robert Fletcher
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced a number of measures to help protect the integrity of events at the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

Initiatives will include the ongoing monitoring of betting on all events and contests during the Games, managed by the Olympic Movement Unit on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions (OM Unit PMC) via its IBIS platform.

The OM Unit PMC will work alongside partners such as Sportradar, the International Betting Integrity Association, Global Lottery Monitoring System, Council of Europe’s network of national platforms, betting regulatory authorities and private sports betting companies, with monitoring carried out remotely at Olympic House in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Over the past few months, the Unit also conducted an assessment of the seven winter sports and 15 disciplines on the Beijing 2022 programme to establish the risks of potential competition manipulation linked to sports betting, with the findings shared with International Sports Federations.

The IOC will retain a direct link with these federations during the games and flag any breach of the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions. The IOC may also carry out a preliminary investigation and help set up a disciplinary commission if required.

This, the IOC said, would also see it cooperate with law enforcement authorities to address cases where collective and joint follow-up is appropriate and necessary.

Other activities will include a series of awareness-raising initiatives focused on the IOC’s wider “Make The Right Decision” campaign, providing educational material such as a self-explanatory code of conduct, elearning course and educational toolbox for athletes.

“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,” the IOC said. “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.”

The IOC has collaborated with all federations and National Olympic Committees (NOCs) to help make athletes and other staff aware of these rules. The majority of NOCs have conducted online seminars or physical sessions to inform team members about manipulation and how it can be prevented. 

Athlete ambassadors, jointly selected by the IOC, federations and NOCs, have been supporting these activities, including Slovakian Olympic shooting medallist Danka Bartekova.

“It is critical to protect the integrity of sport,” Bartekova said. “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.”

The 2022 Winter Olympic Games will take place from 4-20 February.

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