Illegal Betting, Rogge warns "You won't get paid"25 October 2010
People involved in illegal betting on sport won’t collect their winnings if the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has its way.
The IOC has a strategic plan to “freeze the funds” of those involved in illegal betting. Under the plan they will monitor irregular money flow on events and matches and if a pattern shows up, the punters will not be paid.
The plan will be active in time for the London 2012 Olympic Games and the Youth Olympic Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria, also in 2012.
To enforce it, they need the help of governments around the world.
Rogge told representatives from the 205 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) attending a conference in Acapulco, Mexico: “We need government help to hunt down the perpetrators of illegal betting. Only the governments have the power to hunt down and jail the culprits.”
Rogge wants a global body called the World Anti-Betting Agency (WABA) similar to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) but indicated it will take time.
“WABA will happen but not overnight, it takes time bringing governments together like it did with WADA,” Rogge said.
There is no doubt illegal betting is the IOC’s number one priority at this time. Rogge insists any athlete involved in illegal betting will be “punished”.
The draft strategy is going to the NOCs who are called on to introduce new rules to punish athletes, coaches and officials involved in illegal betting.
“Sport bodies need rules and regulations in their constitution to deal with athletes,” he said.
The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has already introduced strict rules in its Team Agreements, banning athletes, coaches and officials from betting during an Olympic event.
“We identified an escalation in betting before the Sydney Olympics where we banned betting for the first time,” AOC President John Coates said. “For the Beijing Olympics the IOC had an agreement with all betting agencies in Australia where they monitored betting on the Olympics and I am pleased nothing untoward surfaced.”
As a matter of urgency the IOC is planning a forum with governments who have already introduced measures against illegal betting. It will involve the NOCs and the International Sporting Federations.
Rogge said there is illegal betting in every country and with the help of Interpol and other agencies betting patterns are being watched constantly.
“I am sure the Australian Government will accept an invitation to participate in the forum,” Coates said. “I raised the issue of illegal betting with the incoming Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and I will have formal discussions with the new Minister for Sport Senator Mark Arbib.”
Mike Tancred in Acapulco