The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games are due to commence later this week, and in preparation the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has outlined a number of integrity measures.
Notably, the Committee has partnered with several bet monitoring organisations, including sports data and tech firm Sportradar, the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) and Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS).
Announced recently, the latter partnership will see the GLMS and IOC collaborate on information sharing and education activities, with the duo having already cooperated on ‘various editions’ of the Olympic Games as well as teaching programmes.
“This agreement will enhance cooperation between GLMS and IOC to protect sport integrity and allow for a more cohesive approach between the sports and lottery worlds”, said Luca Esposito, GLMS General Secretary and Executive Director of the World Lottery Association (WLA).
Both the IOC and GLMS are observers to the statutory Committee of the International Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions, (Macolin Convention), and intend to leverage the new agreement to develop synergies between the lottery and sporting sectors.
Friedrich Martens, Head of the Olympic Movement Unit on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions at the IOC, added: “Beyond their traditional financial support to the Olympic movement, we are glad that Lotteries have been also strongly supporting us in our efforts to keep sport and, notably our pinnacle event, the Olympic Games, free from manipulations. We are glad to sign this agreement with GLMS which will allow us to further strengthen our cooperation.”
In addition, the Council of Europe’s network of national platforms – the Group of Copenhagen – as well as major betting regulatory authorities and a ‘large number’ of international gambling firms will also participate in the IOC’s 24/7 bet monitoring operations at Olympic House in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Monitoring will also be conducted by the Olympic Movement Unit on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions (OM Unit PMC) using its IBIS platform and in cooperation with its partners.
In addition to monitoring bets, the OM Unit PMC – which will conduct complete oversight of integriirty measures for the first time since its inception in 2017 – has conducted a ‘thorough assessment’ of the seven winter sports and 15 disciplines on the Beijing 2022 programme in relation to the risks posed by competition manipulation linked to sports betting, with information shared with the International Sports Federations (IFs).
Maintaining its cooperation with the IFs throughout the tournament the OM Unit PMC will flag any violations of the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions (OM Code PMC) to the organisations, whilst also collaborating with law enforcement agencies.
Additionally, in order to raise awareness of the threat of bet manipulation at the Olympics, the IOC has hired eight brand ambassadors – both former and current athletes – representing eight different sports and eight different countries.
Representing Slovakia is IOC Ethnics Commisison member Danka Bartekova (shooting, Slovakia) alongside Andreas Linger (luge, Austria), Andrej Miklavc (Alpine skiing, Slovenia), Nicola Minichiello (bobsleigh, Great Britain) and Jakob Spik (Alpine skiing, Slovenia).
Emma Terho (ice hockey, Finland, Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission), Pernilla Wiberg (Alpine skiing, Sweden) and Yang Yang (speed skating, China) have also joined the aforementioned as brand ambassadors.
Lastly, the IOC has launched a dedicated campaign, ‘Make the Right Decisions’, promoting educational material, such as a ‘self-explanatory’ Code of Conduct written in 20 languages, along with an elearning course and educational toolbox, among other offerings.
Cooperating with the aforementioned IFs and National Olympic Committees (NOCs), the latter of which are responsible for selecting the national delegations and sending them to the Games, the IOC aims to further educate players about match manipulation and distribute the code of conduct.