Why sports integrity needs partnerships

Nov 8, 2022
“To counter the global nature and scale of crime, the world of sport needs partners.” - Thomas Bach, IOC President

Collaboration between members of the sports integrity ecosystem is critical. 

Threats today transcend borders. And when the integrity of sport is compromised, nobody wins except the perpetrators.  

Yet, many sports organisations attempt manage this risk in near isolation.  

Clue is used by sports governing bodies, clubs, data and technology companies and other organisations to manage sports integrity intelligence and investigation.  

Our single application enables organisations like Genius Sports, Esports Integrity Commission, RFU (Rugby Football Union), and the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) securely share data for robust outcomes. Clue provides a mechanism to exchange expertise and develop rich intelligence.  

While technology makes collaboration simpler and more effective, however, it is only part of the solution. 

Successful partnerships need high levels of trust built up over time. Often this is lacking between organisations such as public authorities and betting operators whose day-to-day operations are so different.  

Meanwhile, lack of awareness over potential, jurisdictional issues, inadequate systems, and complex agreements to share information can also play a part.

The importance of collaboration for sports integrity

Speaking at our sports community webinar, INTERPOL’s Integrity in Sports Training Officer, Dieter Braekeveld, said organisations must recognise both their shared responsibility and complementary skillsets.  

One of the most fundamental partnerships in protecting sports integrity is that between sports governing bodies and law enforcement organisations. These two types of organisations depend on one another’s respective powers and knowledge to protect sports environments and bring offenders to justice.  

“Many sports organisations are doing really good work. They have rules in place, they have regulations – they can also enforce those rules and regulations,” says Dieter.  

However, these rules and regulations only apply to athletes, officials, coaches, and other individuals within the sphere of their sport.  

Dieter explains, “it’s important for sports to understand they can sanction their athletes, but they cannot go after the criminal … take the example of match fixing, where corrupters can target thousands of players online; so long as sports doesn’t share this intelligence on corruptor approaches with police, those people can go on [offending] …” 

As an international organisation that facilitates worldwide police cooperation and crime control, INTERPOL recognises how crucial collaboration between organisations is, and invests considerable time and resource into fostering partnerships between stakeholders.  

Working alongside the Olympic Committee (IOC) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the organisation regularly brings members of the sport integrity ecosystem together – including law enforcement, National Olympic Committees, national sports federations, and public authorities – to tackle current threats, betting developments, global crime trends, and review joint strategies, policies, and legislation. 

Not every organisation has INTERPOL’s influence in getting people in the same room, however.  

“You may find that you want to partner up with someone, or operationally carry out some activity with them, and they are resistant to doing it,” says UK Anti-Doping’s (UKAD) Director of Operations, Pat Myhill.  

“How do you enthuse them? How do you make them interested? The key for us is to find the common ground that suits their priority and hits yours,” Pat explains, adding that determining an organisation’s key priorities can be as straightforward as reading their official website. 

“You’ve got to find the button to press that’s going to make them want to work with you,” says Pat. “The information is available for you to key into.” 

By identifying the right points of contact, and learning about prospective partners’ concerns, organisations can start building foundations for formal, long-lasting multi-stakeholder partnerships that will prove invaluable to the preservation of safe and competitive sports environments that can be enjoyed by athletes, officials and spectators alike.  

Learn more about how Clue is enabling sports governing bodies, teams and technology companies to streamline intelligence and investigations and connect to the wider sports integrity ecosystem – book your demo today.  

Book a demo

Book a demo

Find out how Clue can help your organisation.