The International Olympic Committee and INTERPOL has this week co-hosted a training session in Switzerland addressing the need for an effective, coordinated response from the sports world to the threat of match-fixing and related corruption.

During the two-day session, thirty representatives from 26 Olympic International Federations (IFs) underwent training on how to effectively collect and establish facts in relation to reports or suspicions of competition manipulation within sports organisations.

During the exercise, participants learnt how to conduct fact-finding inquiries into suspicions or allegations of competition manipulation, establish the facts of the allegation or suspicion, and report the findings to a disciplinary panel.

Elements discussed included the regulatory basis for fact-finding inquiries; inquiry planning; information gathering and sharing; risk management; interviewing methods; stakeholder collaboration and coordination; and cooperation between sports disciplinary and criminal investigatory proceedings.

Commenting on the training, the IOC’s chief ethics and compliance officer Pâquerette Girard-Zappelli, said: “International Federations have an important role to play in protecting the integrity of their respective sports. They oversee major events and have valuable intelligence when it comes to technical aspects as well as performance levels.

“It is important to build expertise within IFs on competition manipulation, which really is a complex matter. Such training opportunities are therefore invaluable and we are thankful for our constructive collaboration with INTERPOL in this regard.”

The IOC and Interpol have also launched a Handbook on Conducting Fact-Finding Inquiries into Breaches of Sports Integrity, which will be a reference document for experts in National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and IFs as it will help to make complex, challenging inquiries more manageable, transparent and accountable.