April 13, 2015

LONDON (AP) The IOC on Monday set up a hotline for whistleblowers to report match-fixing and other corruption in a new initiative to protect the integrity and credibility of the Olympics and other sports competitions.

The International Olympic Committee said the web-based ''integrity and compliance hotline'' is open to athletes, coaches, referees and members of the public and offers ''100 percent anonymity.''

Callers can report suspicious approaches or activities related to fixing and manipulation of competitions or violations of the IOC ethics code, including financial misconduct.

The move was announced at an international summit meeting on sports integrity that was held in Lausanne and chaired by IOC President Thomas Bach.

''The ultimate goal of all this is to protect the clean athletes and to give them, as far as we can, fair competition,'' Bach said.

The conference urged governments to sign the Council of Europe convention against match-fixing and strengthen the role of ''sports integrity officers'' within sports organizations.

''When it comes to the fight against manipulation and related corruption, sport needs the help and cooperation of governments and governmental authorities and other stakeholders much more than in any other area,'' Bach said.

Among those attending were representatives from world governments, the Council of Europe, the European Union, Interpol, U.N. agencies, sports betting operators and Olympic sports federations.

The meeting called on sports leaders to develop global minimum standards, possibly in the form of a code for the Olympic movement, regarding match-fixing and related corruption.

The IOC already has agreements with Interpol to fight fixing and corruption. It also has a system for monitoring betting patterns during the Olympics for any signs of suspicious activity and recently created a $20 million fund to fight doping and irregular betting.

The new hotline, Bach said, means ''athletes and everyone concerned can turn to the IOC.''

''They can serve as whistleblowers and serve as witnesses with their suspicions about any kind of infringement,'' he said. ''The hotline ... guarantees the secrecy of information. We will even accept anonymous indications.''

In the case of soccer match-fixing, whistleblowers should use the mechanisms set up by FIFA and UEFA, the IOC said. For doping issues, callers should contact the World Anti-Doping Agency or national doping bodies.

Bach said the IOC can already ''do a lot'' to fight doping through drug-testing, a strict liability policy, whereabouts information and arbitration hearings.

''When it comes to match-fixing, we have nothing like this,'' he said. ''You cannot detect match-fixing and corruption by taking a blood test. ... We need the help and assistance of governments and police authorities who have much more power and much more information and more possibilities than sport can have.''

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