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ICSS and Portugal pioneer new standards on sport betting integrity

19th August 2014 7:11 am GMT

Sports integrity group the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) has joined forces with the Portuguese Olympic Committee (COP) to announce a landmark code of conduct on sport betting integrity which will be introduced in Portugal and other Portuguese speaking nations.

The new code of conduct (ICSS-COP Standard CoC) has been developed using the Sorbonne-ICSS Guiding Principles for Protecting the Integrity of Sports Competitions, and will set out recognised standards on sport betting integrity for the first time to safeguard federations, clubs and athletes throughout Portugal.

It follows the signing of a deal earlier this year between the ICSS and the Portuguese Institute for Sport and Youth (IPDJ).

The code allows Member federations to be able to sanction any individual that bets on or influences the result, progress or any other aspect of a match either directly or through a third-party.

The code will also allow COP member federations to refer any allegation or suspicion of a violation to a designated officer to investigate and initiate appropriate disciplinary procedures.

“At a time where the threats to the integrity of the Olympic sport have had a sharp impact on many organisations in sport, the Olympic Committee of Portugal want to pave the way and implement several measures to effectively tackle this scourge to the credibility of sport,” said Manuel Constantino, president of the Comité Olímpico de Portugal.

“Protecting sport is a top priority on our agenda and, backed by the expertise and valuable collaboration of the ICSS, the COP executive commission recently approved this Code of Conduct on Sport Betting Integrity as a first step of an action plan aimed to prepare Portuguese sport with the proper tools to face the challenge.”

The ICSS-COP Standard CoC is part of a pioneering Inter-Regional Cooperation Programme which will aim to support and be implemented alongside existing regulation and legislation on sport betting.

The programme will see the COP and ICSS work together to promote and enhance good governance, integrity, financial transparency, security and child protection in sport with the aim of enhancing future co-operation with National Olympic Committees (NOCs) across the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) and EU regions.

The COP will organise a Summit of NOCs from CPLP countries in Portugal in early 2015 which will address issues related to safeguarding the integrity and credibility of sporting competitions, as well as introducing an ongoing education and awareness programme for young athletes covering topics related to sport betting integrity and the new ICSS-COP Standard CoC.

Mohammed Hanzab, president of the ICSS said: “Building on the agreement signed by the Portuguese Olympic Committee and the ICSS earlier this year, the introduction of this pioneering new code of conduct on sport betting integrity, as well as the wide-ranging Inter-Regional Cooperation Programme, represents a significant moment for sport, not just in Portugal but throughout CPLP region.

“As new cases of integrity and match-fixing continue to emerge throughout the world on a weekly basis, it is important that governments, federations and clubs around the world recognise the very real threat that organised crime and betting fraud present to sport.

“I hope that the work the COP and ICSS will deliver as part of this partnership will encourage other organisations in sport to introduce similar, robust measures to combat match-fixing and safeguard the future of sport,” said Hanzab.

Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, chief executive of ICSS Europe and Latin America, said that both the ICSS and COP were taking important strides in addressing the “growing threats that attack the credibility and integrity of sport” by building strategic alliances with key organisations across the whole of Europe, Africa and South America.

“With the launch of the ICSS-COP standard code of conduct on sports betting integrity and Inter-Regional Cooperation Programme – signed just two weeks after a historical resolution by the CPLP Sports Ministers – has spurred a large-scale cooperation with the ICSS, marking a crucial step forward in our fight to safeguard sports positive values and reputation,” he said.

“By working together, we can contribute to international efforts in this area and spark a new area in terms of sports governance, anti-corruption and international cooperation.”

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