POSTED: March 1st 2011

IOC anti-corruption summit sets up task force for fightback on illegal betting

Jacques Rogge: satisfying day's work / lake images
Jacques Rogge: satisfying day's work / lake images

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

MUNICH/LAUSANNE, Mar 01: A task force to coordinate an international war of illegal betting and match-fixing in sport has emerged from a Lausanne ‘summit’ summoned by Olympic leader Jacques Rogge.

The United Nations, Government ministers – including sports ministers Chantal Jouanno of France and Britain’s Hugh Robertson - the international police agency Interpol, the betting industry, National Olympic Committees and international sports federations were all represented in the one-day conference.

Illegal betting, said Rogge – the International Olympic Committee president - was closely linked with match-fixing and money laundering and posed “a danger to sport in general.” Annual turnover from illegal betting had been estimated at $140bn a year.

Rogge added: “We respect the right of sovereign nations to deal with sports betting as they deem appropriate. We have no desire to interfere with that right. Our sole goal - and the purpose of this meeting - is to find ways on how we can work together to prevent irregular and illegal betting on sporting events.”

Key focus

The task force will be supported in terms of funding and knowhow from betting industry leaders and will address:

* The necessity and possibilities for governments, international organisations and sports betting operators to support the sports world in its efforts to protect the integrity of sports competitions;

* The various means to strengthen cooperation between themselves to fight more effectively against all forms of cheating in sport, particularly those linked to  irregular and illegal betting;

* The various existing systems, national laws, self-regulating systems and implementation methods, in order to identify effective methods for cross-border cooperation;

* The various existing systems of enforcement, punishment and measures in terms of education;

* Appropriate methods of funding to support the efforts of the sports movement to protect the integrity of competitions.

Ongoing process

Rogge, reviewing the day’s work, said: “This meeting was the latest effort in an ongoing process that will grow to involve many more countries, international organisations and Olympic partners.

"I am pleased with the fruitful discussions and progress made in many areas, all of which will be communicated to our partners in the Olympic movement.”

The IOC’s Code of Ethics was amended in 2006 to forbid all participants in the Olympic Games from betting on Olympic events.

** FIFA Early Warning System (EWS) stages its own congress on the themes of “Sports Funding – Sponsoring, Sports Betting” and an intensive seminar on the topic of “Sports Betting – Markets, Facts, Law” on March 25 and 26 in Zurich.

Attendees will include FIFA president Sepp Blatter and other senior legal officers, UN sports adviser Willi Lemke, Sports Minister Ueli Maurer (Swz) and Norbert Darabos (Austria) and former Germany goalkeeper Oliver Kahn.

Keywords · IOC · Rogge · betting · corruption

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