A new taskforce has been established to improve cooperation between criminal justice authorities and sports organisations ©IOC

A taskforce has been established by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and its anti-corruption partners to improve the cooperation between criminal justice authorities and sports organisations.

The creation of the group was confirmed at the latest meeting of the Steering Committee of the International Partnership against Corruption in Sport (IPACS), which involves the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Council of Europe, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the British Government and the IOC.

In a statement, the IOC said the taskforce, the latest to be set up by IPACS, would seek to enhance the collaboration between sports bodies and criminal authorities who are investigating wrongdoing.

It will "take stock of existing anti-bribery legislation applicable to the private sector" and "create a list of existing networks of judicial authorities/law enforcement agencies through which its work could be supported and promoted", the IOC said.

A report from the IOC Ethics Commission presented to the IOC Session in Lausanne last week cited the "complex relationship" it has with national judiciary authorities which are looking into alleged criminal offences from sporting officials as the reason why the group has been unable to sanction those accused.

IOC members Frankie Fredericks and Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah and honorary member Carlos Nuzman are among those under investigation from criminal authorities.

Their cases are also being examined by the Ethics Commission, chaired by former United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon.

The decisions were taken at the IPACS Steering Committee meeting in Paris ©IOC
The decisions were taken at the IPACS Steering Committee meeting in Paris ©IOC

"Several of the current cases being assessed are linked to criminal investigations in various countries, which means that the IOC is not able to control the duration of the procedures," the Ethics Commission report to the Session read.

"The analysis of these situations demonstrates the complex relationships between the IOC Ethics Commission and the various national judiciary authorities who are also investigating the same facts.

"The IOC and the Movement are the victims of the wrongdoing, nevertheless this does not give us access to the full criminal cases files.

"Essentially it is the sole responsibility of the national law enforcement authorities, police and justice, to decide to share, or not, evidence or elements of facts with the IOC and when an IOC member is directly involved/when allegations are made public.

"The IOC Ethics Commission is dependent on the goodwill of the national criminal authorities to share any piece of evidence or information."

Officials present at the IPACS meeting said the latest taskforce would be beneficial to all stakeholders in the fight against corruption.

The group also discussed strengthening good governance criteria put forward by the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations by including anti-bribery processes developed by Inter-Governmental organisations.

"There is a real sense of partnership and strong backing by all attending organisations and Governments to support the sports movement in mitigating the risks against corruption in sport," said IOC chief ethics and compliance officer Pâquerette Girard Zappelli.

"The new task force adds another important element to IPACS’ portfolio and shows the evolution of its mandate.”