A joint paper on preventing corruption amid the pandemic has been published ©IOC

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), INTERPOL and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have published a paper outlining the action required to tackle corruption as sport aims to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The aim of the paper, entitled "Ensuring that integrity is at the core of sport’s response to the pandemic: preventing corruption in sport and manipulation of competitions", is to provide recommendations to those involved in tackling corruption in sport, such as Governments and sporting organisations.

It is hoped the recommendations will ensure integrity is at the centre of sport’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to enable the sector to contribute effectively in society as the crisis eases.

The paper, which outlines preventative measures, is billed as being an "aligned, proactive approach".

The organisations have warned the temporary absence of sports events does not necessarily eliminate sports integrity issues, and the re-starting of competitions will require special vigilance.

The paper recommends tools are developed to "detect and report corruption in sport and prevent the manipulation of competitions".

The potential impact on salaries caused by the pandemic is cited as a potential challenge, with the paper suggesting that "criminal groups and corruptors may seek to exploit this situation to gain influence".

Avoiding decreasing salaries of those most vulnerable and severely affected and if required to make these temporary whenever possible is among the recommendations, while further development and implementation of reporting mechanisms in sport is suggested.

The paper also warns that some sporting organisations, businesses and associations may find it "difficult, if not impossible, to recover during the post-pandemic phase".

It is recommended that to prevent possible corruption and fraud, objective and transparent criteria is developed to ensure those with the greatest need can qualify and receive assistance.

Specific recommendations have also been made to sport organisations, including adopting relevant regulations in relation to prohibitions of betting on one’s sport, sharing inside information, corrupt conduct, competition manipulations, and an obligation to report.

Efforts to ensure anti-bribery regulations of sport organisations are well respected and implemented are also recommended, as well as ensuring potential breaches are effectively investigated in the view of disciplinary actions.

Awareness-raising sessions for the athletes, their entourage and sport organisations’ officials should also be intensified, the paper recommends.

The IOC has also outlined its efforts to fight corruption within sport, including the Olympic Movement Unit on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions.

The unit is tasked with coordinating, supporting, monitoring and promoting the fight against competition manipulation.

The IOC and UNODC have partnered to design various activities, including providing technical assistance to UN member states in the prosecution of competition manipulation and delivering national and regional joint training sessions, in addition to the development of standard-setting guides and tools.

The IOC says it is also collaborating with INTERPOL, the two organisations having developed a joint global capacity-building and training programme.

The programme delivers tailored workshops and webinars around the world to support National Olympic Committees, International and National Sports Federations, law enforcement agencies, Government entities and betting regulators and operators in addressing competition manipulation and related corruption.

Confidentially reporting of suspicious behaviour, activities related to competition manipulation and infringements of the IOC Code of Ethics can be made to the IOC’s integrity hotline.

The full paper can be accessed here.