The Azerbaijani sporting delegation is attending Sport Integrity Week, an event boosting collaboration on the prevention of competition manipulation and protecting the integrity of sport and the athletes, kicked off in Athens, Greece.

The event brought together integrity experts from eight countries, (Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece, Israel, Malta, Romania and Türkiye) National Olympic Committees (NOCs), ministries, police forces and prosecutors, who are joined by representatives from their national platforms (the local hubs established in line with the Macolin Convention and comprising NOCs, sports organisations, state authorities and law enforcement authorities). During the event, participants exchanged their practices, lessons learnt from their experience and case scenarios.

The Azerbaijani delegation comprised of International Relations Director at NOC of Azerbaijan Anar Baghirov, leading advisor of the Sports Department of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Fazila Aghayeva, UEFA Match Fixing Representative for Azerbaijan Seymur Salimli, and others.

The week is co-organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Council of Europe, EPATHLA (the Greek national platform for sport integrity), INTERPOL, UEFA and the Hellenic Football Federation (HFF).

During his welcome address, HOC President and IOC Member Spyros Capralos said: “The manipulation of competitions is one of the most significant negative phenomena in sport, undermining the credibility of our competitions. The Olympic Movement stakeholders, with the support of the Olympic Movement Unit on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions, have been very active against this issue. Initiatives like Sport Integrity Week play an important role in supporting national and international cooperation and offer a tremendous contribution to tackling this threat”.

Prevention of competition manipulation requires a joint and well-coordinated effort at national and international level in order to be efficient and successful. Over the last few years, NOCs have played an instrumental role in setting up national policies, enforcing rules, educating their athletes and officials, and even in contributing to investigations and disciplinary proceedings when necessary. Having the right processes in place, e.g. through national platforms, as well as trustful relations with the other key stakeholders involved, facilitates information exchange and investigations into potential cases. Sport Integrity Week, which will end on December 1, includes:

A high-level capacity-building activity for stakeholders from the aforementioned countries, including high-level discussions, interactive sessions, real-life and hypothetical case scenarios.

A meeting of the Follow-Up Committee of the Macolin Convention in which the IOC has Observer status, representing the whole Olympic Movement.