Conference Review
- Day Two

Rob Strachan @RobStrach Fantastic final #SAC2014 plenary session covering integrity in sport. Could listen to @JohnAmaechi and @chris_icss discuss all afternoon


A cry for help to combat matchfixing and doping in sport went out to governments around the world at the Plenary Panel Session, ‘The Integrity Issue’, which was amongst the most thought-provoking debates in SportAccord Convention’s history.

“This organised crime is hurting sport,” said Friedrich Stickler, President of the European Lotteries. “It’s such a complex issue that everybody has to work together. It cannot be done by a single initiative.”

Chris Eaton, Director of Sport Integrity at the International Centre for Sport Security, believed that matchfixing was a symptom, not a cause.

“The wider issue of integrity is related to culture, so we have to address this issue from a cultural point of view,” he said. “We need to see more government response.”

John Amaechi OBE, Managing Director of Amaechi Performance Systems, felt that matchfixing, betting and doping reflected a lack of integrity in sport.

“Criminality is drawn by a lack of integrity,” he said. “So many different sports are in danger. We are talking about organised crime. In too many countries we don’t have well-educated police personnel. We should have an organisation that combines all the necessary sectors to fight against these organised crimes. It’s all very well trying to educate people, but hypocrisy will prevent education. That is the actual problem.”

Andreas Krannich, Managing Director of Strategy and Integrity at Sportradar, complained that sport had been talking about integrity ‘for ages’, but added: “Still nothing has happened. Only a very small part of match manipulation has been detected.

“Many sports federations dismiss the problem, as they want to move on. They are just doing the minimum to satisfy the public. As a result, clubs are starting to use opportunities from the betting market to pay players as well as themselves and players are being forced to travel around the world but are not earning enough money. How easy is it then to fall in the temptation of the betting market?”

As for the issue of doping, Sir Craig Reedie, President of the World Anti-Doping Agency, was more optimistic.

“Sport has always thought that doping is a problem. We struggle on and we would like to think we are getting better at it,” he said. “But we need governments to help us. I think they are getting more involved and they understand the issue.”