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Avoid salary cuts on vulnerable athletes to prevent corruption, says IOC-led paper

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Lausanne (Switzerland), July 3 (IANS) A paper jointly published by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the INTERPOL and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has stated that salary cuts for athletes in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic without any way of supporting them should be avoided so as to prevent corruption and manipulation of competitions.

The paper stressed on the need to safeguard the integrity of sport during the pandemic. “As salaries of sports professionals may be impacted, through reductions or delays in payments, and the economic situation places pressure on sport, criminal groups and corruptors may seek to exploit this situation to gain influence,” the paper, available on the IOC website, read.

“It is recommended to the extent possible, to consider avoiding decreasing salaries of those most vulnerable and severely affected and if required to make these temporary whenever possible.

“In order to facilitate reporting of approaches by criminal groups and corruptors, or wrongdoing in general, it is further recommended to develop and implement reporting mechanisms in sport, or to promote existing mechanisms among relevant stakeholders. If salary decreases are implemented for top athletes, it is also recommended that the ensuing savings be used to support the most vulnerable and severely affected athletes, sports organisations and related employees.”

It said that any traditional sources of sustainable financing and revenues need to be properly and sustainably safeguarded. All revenues and financing, whatever the origin, including from sports betting (a portion of which goes to support sport, and which generate taxes for several governments), are not jeopardised by any illegal or illicit activities.

The paper also recommended developing an effective national cooperation framework between law enforcement, criminal justice authorities and sports organisations in the post COVID-19 world.



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