Speaking to UNESCO member states at the Fifth Session of the Conference of Parties to the International Convention against Doping in Sport in Paris, ICSS President, Mohammed Hanzab, called on governments to show greater leadership in the fight to protect the integrity of sport and highlighted the growing relationship between sport and organised crime.
President Hanzab’s comments came as part of a keynote address at UNESCO’s headquarters, where he was invited as a special guest to mark the 10th anniversary of the International Convention against Doping in Sport, a document which is ratified by more than 180 countries and remains the first legal international anti-doping instrument.
As well as underlining the ICSS’s commitment to working alongside UNESCO and developing a credible, coordinated and global approach to ensuring the highest governance and integrity standards in sport, the ICSS President also commended UNESCO and its partners on developing a global code to combat doping however warned that similar measures must be put in place to address the wider corruption threats now facing integrity of sport, which include match fixing, money laundering, trafficking and criminal infiltration.
Mohammed Hanzab, President of the International Centre for Sport Security, said:
“Sport is now confronted by increasingly complex and sophisticated threats, which are spread across multiple jurisdictions and often involve criminal organisations who exert influence on many aspects of the industry.
“As a result, a perfect storm has been created that is damaging the fabric of international sport and has resulted in a collision of three international economic giants; international sport, international gambling and international organised crime. This is a crucial moment for sport and only leadership from world governments can contain it.”
Hanzab also drew attention to “the alarming number of police and other investigations of corrupted sport competitions around the world today”, highlighting the need to reconsider the current approach to the autonomy of sport and how many sport governing bodies and organisations are currently self-regulated.
“In cooperation with UNESCO, we are ready to contribute to the mission of MINEPS V and, most importantly, assist national stakeholders in putting recommendations and international policies into practice.
“Safeguarding sport is at the heart and soul of the ICSS – it is why the ICSS was established and it is the focus of our daily work.”
The Session was attended by UNESCO Member States, as well as leading international policy experts and advisors from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the Council of Europe (CoE), INTERPOL, the World Customs Organization and various intergovernmental and international sports organisations.
The ICSS’s ongoing partnership with UNESCO, which has seen the two organisations collaborate on integrity issues such as match-fixing, child welfare and organised crime in sport, is part of a broader ICSS strategy to drive reform through a collaborative, multi-sector approach.
The organisation’s growing global influence was also highlighted at the XX Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) General Assembly in Washington today, D.C. where Save the Dream – an initiative of the Qatar Olympic Committee and the ICSS – delivered a special presentation.
Save the Dream Executive Director Massimiliano Montanari outlined the global programme’s mission to empower youth and communities through the positive and aspirational values of sport to more than 1,000 representatives of 206 National Olympic Committees, International Federations and future organising committees.
The presentation to some of the leading figures in the Olympic Movement precedes a major public showcase in Times Square, New York City on 3 November, which will Save the Dream ambassadors, musicians and children from around the world gather to spread the message of hope and peace through sport.