Rugby’s governing body the International Rugby Board (IRB) has moved to combat illegal betting, match-fixing and corruption with the implementation of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Integrity Betting Intelligence System (IBIS).
IBIS is an intelligence-sharing digital platform that allows the IRB and its member unions to access a monitoring and data-sharing network between sports and leading sports betting operators.
The implementation of the system has already taken place and was used to monitor the HSBC Sevens World Series events. All matches were declared to be free from corruption.
IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset described match-fixing and corruption as one of the biggest threats to all sport, explaining that while there was no prevalence in rugby it was important to implement measures to educate and safeguard the sport from such threats.
“As custodians of the Game, it is the responsibility of the IRB and its Member Unions to protect and promote the integrity of our sport through the delivery of robust regulations, effective monitoring and strong education,” he explained.
IOC sports director Kit McConnell praised the IRB for launching IBIS.
“The Memorandum of Understanding allows IBIS to cover not only the Rugby events during the next Olympic Summer Games but also IRB’s major non-Olympic competitions,” McConnell continued. “The agreement between the IOC and the IRB marks the first step in integrating all Olympic Summer international federations in the run-up to the Olympic Games 2016 in Rio.”
The launch further strengthens the IRB’s anti-corruption efforts, which include the 'Keep Rugby Onside' educational outreach programme and enhanced betting regulations for the rugby community.