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Making the right decision – YOG athletes learn about competition manipulation risks


31 January 2024 – Over the last two weeks, more than 1,250 athletes and entourage members participating in the Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Gangwon, Republic of Korea, have been engaged in a series of activities to learn about the risks of competition manipulation.

The activities, being run as part of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s “Make the Right Decision” campaign, have been specifically designed to raise awareness about the threat of competition manipulation among athletes, their entourages and officials.

They are being rolled out at the Youth Olympic Villages, as part of the Athlete Education Programme, with the support of “Believe in Sport” athlete ambassadors and IOC Young Leaders, namely Olympian Andrej Miklavc, a retired Alpine skier from Slovenia, Shiling Lin from China and Javier Raya, an Olympian in figure skating from Spain.

Learning from peers

Peer-to-peer communication has proved to be highly efficient in the past, and the ambassadors’ contributions have been strongly valued by the YOG athletes.

Miklavc explained: “The prevalence of online betting options in sport requires athletes to comprehend all aspects of potential threats. They need to understand how easily they can become unwitting victims or tools for individuals with malicious intentions towards athletes or the Games.”

It is crucial for all athletes not only to know the rules and code of conduct, but also to embrace and embody them. This is where Believe in Sport ambassadors play a vital role.

Andrej Miklavc (SLO) – Olympian – Alpine skier

Freestyle skier Fin Melville Ives from New Zealand, who visited the Believe in Sport booth, said: “Learning about competition manipulation and anti-doping – those were the ones that resonated the most. We’ve all learned about it, but we’ve never actually seen how it works. It’s been really fun doing the activities and learning more about the programmes here.”

Maximising the impact

“We are very happy with the turn-out at our Believe in Sport booths in the various Youth Olympic Villages at the Gangwon 2024 YOG,” explained Friedrich Martens, Head of the Olympic Movement Unit on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions (OM Unit PMC) at the IOC, whose staff is manning the booths at Athlete365 House. “Through our continuous interactions and further surveys, we know that awareness about the topic within each new generation of young athletes is fairly low. This is unfortunately also still the case among entourages and officials.”

The YOG are a fantastic opportunity to raise this awareness through our various initiatives: the physical booths in Gangwon are just as important as the social media campaign we ran in the lead-up to the YOG

Friedrich Martens – Head of the Olympic Movement Unit on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions at the IOC

“In addition, we have been closely cooperating with International Federations [IFs], National Olympic Committees [NOCs] and multi-sport event organisers to further increase the reach.”

Many NOCs incorporated integrity topics into their pre-Games briefings or teamed up with expert organisations to develop tailored educational tools and programmes. Additionally, in December 2023, the IOC hosted dedicated webinars for all judges, referees and technical officials participating in Gangwon and, earlier this month, a specific briefing was organised for all International Ski and Snowboard Federation (FIS) officials.


In addition to the awareness-raising measures outlined above, the IOC has monitored sports betting 24/7 on all YOG competitions. This activity is carried out in close collaboration with the members of the IOC’s Integrity Betting Intelligence System (IBIS) and monitoring partners of the OM Unit PMC, including betting regulators, service providers and betting operators, and associations of betting operators, such as IBIA and ULIS. Processes are also in place to follow up on any suspicions or potential breaches of the rules, especially in view of the prohibition for all accredited YOG participants to bet on their own sports or any YOG events, and to share inside information.

More information about the IOC initiatives in place to prevent competition manipulation can be found here.


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