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The Role of National Olympic Committees within a National Co-operation Framework

Strasbourg 28 October 2021
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@Council of Europe

@Council of Europe

The webinar jointly organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Council of Europe (CoE) took place on 27 October 2021 to deepen the expertise of 110 participants from across the world on effective ways to address the manipulation of sports competitions.

The webinar was organised as part of a series of activities within the framework of the Keep Crime Out of Sport+ (KCOOS+) project, which also included the European Online Networking Session, a National Platform peer-to-peer workshop with inputs from key European stakeholders, organised earlier in October.

The key stakeholders addressing the manipulation of sport competitions include public authorities (those responsible for sport, for the regulation of betting, law enforcement and prosecution) as well as private entities, such as sport and betting actors.

The webinar focused on the co-operation between public authorities and sport actors, especially the National Olympic Committees (NOC) within a national co-operation framework. For this co-operation to be effective, the Macolin Convention is the only existing international legally binding instrument and a ground-breaking tool, as Sophie Kwasny, Head of Sport Conventions Division at the Council of Europe, highlighted in her opening speech. Article 13 of the Convention sets the basis for a legally established co-operation. The Article calls for the establishment of National Platforms, which are the key national hubs dedicated to the co-ordination of the fight against the manipulation of sports competitions.

One of the speakers of the webinar, Eirik Haugen Tysse, Norwegian National Platform representative said: The Macolin Convention gives us the basis for our operation in Norway. When it comes to information sharing, the Convention has been a valuable guidance. Especially, involving our Data Protection Agency was key to develop the policies that the Macolin Convention points out.”

During the webinar, representatives of National Olympic Committees, Public Authorities and National Platforms from around 80 countries had the opportunity to gain insights into the work of the Australian, Greek, Dutch and Norwegian National Platforms, and how NOCs are involved and contribute to it. More than that, National Platforms’ representatives from Slovenia, Estonia, and Sri Lanka shared experiences on the status of their co-operation framework on the making.

The National Platforms may take different forms, for instance led by the ministry responsible for sport, gambling authority, anti-doping agency, police, or National Olympic Committees. In any case, their key objectives lay in facilitating exchange of information, deciding on national priorities, co-ordinating actions related to prevention and detection, as well as co-operation both at national and international levels. One of the aspects of the co-ordination is sharing information and intelligence, which has also been discussed at the webinar with the presentations of representatives from the French Gambling Authority, the Danish Olympic Committee, and INTERPOL.

As Friedrich Martens, Head of the Olympic Movement Unit on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions (OM Unit PMC) summarised, “The effective fight against competition manipulation requires a cross-sector cooperation. Stakeholders from sport, law enforcement and state need to come together and, under an environment of trust, exchange and cooperate. At the webinar, we heard experiences and good practices about national cooperation frameworks and how they can look like. At the same time, we also highlighted what the role of the NOC and sport should be within such a national cooperation. I hope participants could get inspired by our collaboration with the Council of Europe at international level and the several good practice examples, so they would start working together in their respective countries.”

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About KCOOS+

The Council of Europe launched KCOOS+ in 2018 to support public authorities and national actors involved in the fight against the manipulation of sports competitions. It is intended to accompany legislative, institutional, and professional actors in the alignment of their systems with the objectives and values of the Macolin Convention.

The KCOOS+ project is fully funded by voluntary contributions provided by: Australia (Department of Health), Cyprus (Cyprus Sports Organisation), Denmark (Ministry of Culture), France (ARJEL, FDJ, Ministère des Sports, NOC), Norway (Ministry of Culture) and Switzerland (Office fédéral du sport-OFSPO), as well as by the World Lotteries Association and the European Lotteries.

Our upcoming event, a joint GLMS and Council of Europe webinar, will take place on 2 December 2021 focusing on the collaboration between representatives of National Platforms and National Lotteries in addressing the manipulation of sport competitions.

Link to KCOOS+: https://www.coe.int/fr/web/sport/kcoos-project

Link to Macolin Convention: https://www.coe.int/en/web/sport/t-mc

Link to the European Online networking session: https://www.coe.int/en/web/sport/-/european-online-networking-session-to-facilitate-exchange-of-information-and-experience-in-addressing-the-manipulation-of-sport-competitions