A group set-up by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge to fight irregular and illegal betting in sport has called for a universal monitoring system to help stop the problem.
The Founding Working Group (FWG), established under the aegis of the IOC in March 2011, conducted their fourth meeting in Lausanne, which was chaired by Rogge (pictured) and attended by representatives from governments, betting operators and other organizations, including the United Nations, who were represented by Wilfried Lemke, special adviser to the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Among prominent IOC members who attended were the two candidates to replace Rogge as President, Thomas Bach and Ng Ser Miang, along with Germany’s Claudia Bokel, head of the IOC Athletes’ Commission.
The FWG called for the establishment of an Olympic Movement monitoring system based on the one in place during London 2012 that would be made available to the International Federations during major competitions to share information regarding suspicious betting activity.
The FWG also called on national sports betting regulatory authorities to strengthen ties between themselves as well as with sports organizations and betting operators.
“Irregular and illegal betting attacks the very foundations of sport, and our efforts to combat the threat require the commitment of a number of important partners, specifically Governments,” said Rogge. “The setting up of a common sports monitoring system still needs to be discussed by the Olympic Movement, but the work undertaken by the Founding Working Group is paving the way forward and we have made significant progress since our first meeting in 2011.”
The FWG called on sports organizations worldwide to use all existing tools and measures to raise awareness of the issue as well as the ethical standards and risks involved.
They also recommended that national authorities implement educational programs aimed at informing stakeholders of the dangers of match-fixing and other activity designed to manipulate sports events.
On the topic of legislation, the FWG urged governments and sports organizations to adopt rules designed to combat irregular and illegal betting at all levels.
Countries that have not yet done so should pass appropriate legislation, the FWG demanded, a process that should be facilitated by the convention against the manipulation of sports competitions currently being drafted by the Council of Europe.
Contact the writer of this story at firstname.lastname@example.org. To follow him on Twitter click here. Inside the Games is an online blog of the London Organizing Committee that staged the 2012 London Games. The blog continues to cover issues that are important to the Olympic Movement. This article is reprinted here with permission of the blog editors.