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BIU focuses on competition manipulation risks in run-up to Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

The Biathlon Integrity Unit has begun a new drive to educate athletes about the risks of competition manipulation, or match-fixing, in the run-up to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, which begin on 4 February.

Through a series of posts on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/biathlonintegrity/) and other social media, the BIU aims to alert biathletes to the dangers of competition manipulation.

With less than a month until the start of the Beijing 2022 Games, the campaign runs alongside and reinforces the IOC’s Prevention of Competition Manipulation initiative which is being shared through its Athlete 365 portal.

The BIU’s campaign addresses athletes directly, urging them to protect the integrity of sport, their careers, and their reputation by remaining true to themselves and remembering these four rules:

1.       Don’t fix

What exactly is competition manipulation, or match-fixing? It happens when athletes intentionally underperform or lose on purpose, including to benefit a teammate or friend. Fixing can occur in numerous ways. If you engage in match fixing or competition manipulation, you are killing the spirit of sport. As an athlete, you must always do your best and uphold the values expected of you.

2.       Don’t bet

Betting on your sport or the Olympic Games goes against the rules on competition manipulation and is forbidden. Competitions are monitored and acts of betting are met with heavy sanctions. The risk isn’t worth the reward. There are serious consequences associated with sports betting. Placing bets, sharing information that can be used to place bets, or fixing competition can end your career.

3.       Don’t share information

Never share information about health issues or sports tactics. This information may be used by others to manipulate competition. Always make the right decision by respecting the rules and reporting suspicious behaviour you see.

4.       Speak up!

What would you do if you were asked to cheat? It’s a scenario that’s all too common for many athletes. If you find yourself in that situation, be smart. Think hard about the consequences it could have on you, your career, and your sport. Make the right decision by speaking out and reporting the incident. You have a responsibility to report competition manipulation. If you witness or suspect competition manipulation, you must report it. Biathletes can report wrongdoing here.

Overall, the BIU’s message to biathletes is:

‘Competition manipulation threatens years of hard work, dedication, and commitment. Protect the integrity of biathlon by remaining true to yourself’.

Greg, McKenna, head of the BIU, added: “Although Biathlon is not currently considered to represent a high risk of competition manipulation, we should all continually work to ensure our competitions are fair, with unpredictable outcomes. The Biathlon Family must understand the rules regarding competition manipulation, especially the fixing of results or betting on Biathlon. Rest assured, the BIU will work very hard to identify any form of manipulation of results.”

Note to Editors

The Biathlon Integrity Unit is an operationally independent and specialised unit of the International Biathlon Union. It was established in 2019 in order to ensure all of Biathlon’s stakeholders can have confidence that ethical issues in the sport will be addressed independently and expertly.