International Symposium Identifies Priorities for Protecting Athletes and Canadian Sport from Competition Manipulation

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After a two-day symposium in Toronto, Ottawa, experts from various industries identified the need for a coordinated pan-Canadian approach to prevent competitive manipulation, backed by extensive training. Co-hosted by McLaren Global Sport Solutions (MGSS) and the Canadian Center for Ethics in Sport (CCES), the 2023 Symposium on Competitive Manipulation and Gambling in Sport brought together more than 150 delegates from key industries, including national and international athletes. sports, regulators, betting operators, academia, law, technology and law enforcement.

The symposium examined the issue of competitive manipulation using three themes – the current landscape, Canada’s response, and the international perspective. Throughout, experts stressed that protecting athletes and sport from competitive manipulation and match-fixing will require collaboration and compliance across multiple industries, both in Canada and internationally.

The symposium highlighted the fact that Canadian sport needs a plan to address the threat of competitive manipulation before it can gain a stronger foothold in Canada. A harmonized, pan-Canadian competition manipulation policy developed with athletes, which includes comprehensive training and is managed by an independent body, will be consistent with best practice in sport and other countries and will contribute to a safer environment for athletes and support staff. CCES is committed to working with partners, including athletes, to make this a reality.“Jeremy Luke, president and CEO of CCES,” said.Thank you to all who shared their expertise on this emerging issue and to those who attended the symposium to learn more about it.

This event was a continuation of the 2019 Sports Match Manipulation and Gambling Symposium. In the intervening years, Bill C-218 was passed, which legalized single-event sports betting and led to major changes in the local sports gambling landscape. More bets mean increased chances of match fixing and other threats to sports integrity and athlete safety, further supporting Canada’s need to enforce protective measures.

Canada is not immune to the threat of global competitive manipulation in sports, driven by the adoption of single-event sports betting and fueled by a persistent gray market despite the regulated market. Government, regulators, gaming operators and the sports community must work together to develop an integrated regulatory framework to mitigate these risks. This is crucial to better train and support Canadian athletes who are vulnerable to bad players.“said Professor Richard H. McLaren, OC, CEO of MGSS Inc.

Awareness of the importance of education and competitive manipulation was a common theme throughout the event.

Competition manipulation in Canada is still in its infancy, so there is an urgent need for comprehensive education before it can truly take hold in the sports community – athletes, officials, coaches and parents. In particular, athletes need to be able to recognize competitive manipulation, know how to report it, and understand the risks and possible sanctions.Symposium host Jacqueline Simoneau is a two-time Olympian, International Olympic Committee Ambassador for Confidence in Sport and a member of the Canadian Olympic Committee Athletes Commission.

CCES is currently a pilot project to help national sports organizations effectively manage the threat of competitive manipulation. Six organizations committed to working with CCES for 18 months to implement a competition manipulation policy backed by training, reporting, monitoring, investigations and disciplinary proceedings. Feedback from the pilot project will inform next steps on how to collectively work to protect Canadian sport from competitive manipulation.

The International Association for Betting Integrity (IBIA), along with its members bet365, Betway and FanDuel, presented sponsors for the symposium, demonstrating their determination to fight betting corruption to protect the integrity of the sport and globally regulated betting markets.

For information about the symposium and a full list of speakers, see

Friday, 02 June 2023

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