Major summit staged in London as part of global fight against corruption in sport

More than 100 Ministers, international sports organisations and experts from around the world will meet in London today to reaffirm the global commitment to tackling corruption in sport.


More than 100 Ministers, international sports organisations and experts from around the world will meet in London today to reaffirm the global commitment to tackling corruption in sport.

Delegates at the International Partnership Against Corruption in Sport (IPACS) will discuss how to manage conflicts of interest in awarding major sporting events to ensure the process is fair and transparent.

They will also develop tools to prevent corruption around procurement at sports events and the way infrastructure contracts are awarded.

Today’s summit represents a strengthening of the international commitment to protect sport from the corrosive effects of corruption.

It is the first high-level IPACS meeting since the partnership was launched at the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Forum on Sport Integrity last year. The partnership’s mission is to bring international sports organisations, governments and inter-governmental organisation together “to strengthen and support efforts to eliminate corruption and promote a culture of good governance in and around sport”.

Jeremy Wright, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said:

We are proud to support the International Partnership Against Corruption in Sport and today’s event is another important step in the ongoing fight to eliminate corruption from sport. Every fan and athlete should have faith that contracts are fairly awarded, events are given to the strongest bid and the highest standards of governance are being upheld.

Our Sporting Future strategy sets out a commitment to tackle corruption in sport and, working alongside our international partners and UK Sport, I am pleased to see that significant progress is being made through IPACS.

Co-ordinated by a Core Group of partners including the Council of Europe, the IOC, the Organisation for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD), the UK Government, and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), IPACS consists of a Steering Committee composed of governments, sports organisations and inter-governmental organisations.

Thomas Bach, President of the IOC, said:

The IOC remains committed to fight corruption in sport at all levels. Integrity entails credibility, and corruption threatens the very credibility of sports organisations as well as competitions. We know we cannot win this fight alone, but need the support of governments when it comes to anti-corruption legislation and law enforcement.

That is the value of IPACS, a very pragmatic partnership which can get together quickly and offer effective solutions on pressing topics. The high-level support IPACS received today is invaluable and will further strengthen our team efforts.

Gabriella Battaini Dragoni, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, said:

Match-fixing, illegal betting, bad governance, insider information, conflicts of interest, and the use of clubs as shell companies: the Council of Europe covers all these aspects through the Macolin Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions, signed today by the UK Minister of Sport, as well as through the Council of Europe anti-corruption body, GRECO.

We are ready to develop further an inclusive co-operation framework with states and other international stakeholders to be put at the service of our IPACS partners. Because, when it comes to corruption in sport, there must be a change of gear. We must enable national governments, international organisations and sporting bodies to demonstrate their capacity to take on this problem in a spirit of unity, determination and effectiveness. IPACS was founded for precisely this purpose – and together we will meet the challenge”.

Ulrik Vestergaard Knudsen, Deputy Secretary-General-elect of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, said:

IPACS is further evidence that corruption can be defeated only through collective partnerships and actions. The OECD’s experience in the fight against all forms of corruption serve as the basis of our engagement with IPACS. Fighting corruption in sport is fighting corruption globally.

Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), said:

In all of our efforts to combat corruption and organized crime, UNODC emphasizes the need for multi-stakeholder approaches which can set international standards and build capacities, while harnessing the expertise and experience of all actors.

IPACS, of which UNODC is a core member, is a great example of such an initiative. Together we can promote integrity, stop criminals from exploiting sport for illicit gain and harness the power of sport as a force for development and peace.

Attendees at the three-day summit include representatives from the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, the British Olympic Association and British Paralympic Association, Interpol and the Commonwealth Games Federation.

Yesterday (5 December) delegates reiterated their full commitment to upholding and implementing internationally recognised standards of integrity and anti-corruption in sport through engagement and collaboration with IPACS.

The next meeting of IPACS will take place by mid-2019, with the aim of discussing potential new focus areas for the Partnership and reporting on progress achieved since the 2018 High Level event.


  • Corruption is not unique to sport. But the selection and organisation of major sporting events, the rapid commercialisation – and huge business interests and value – of sport, and the behaviours and structures that govern it carry high risks of corruption.
  • As the custodians of sport, many international sports organisations have increasingly recognised the need for greater transparency and have taken active steps to reform and strengthen how they are structured and function, in line with major reform agendas such as the Olympic Agenda 2020.
  • IPACS responds to efforts and calls by governments and other public authorities around the world to intensify the fight against corruption in sport. These include, amongst others, the commitment made by leaders at the 2016 London Anti-Corruption Summit; the adoption of resolution 7/8 on corruption in sport by the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption in November 2017; the resolutions adopted at the 14th and 15th Council of Europe Conferences of Ministers responsible for Sport in Budapest 2016 and Tbilisi 2018; and calls made by G20 leaders in the 2018 Hamburg Leaders Communiqué and – most recently – the 2019 Buenos Aires Leaders Communiqué.

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