ABU DHABI: Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, has reiterated the importance of strengthening the credibility and integrity of sport in order to safeguard the Olympic values and the power of sport as a vehicle for peace.

Speaking at the General Conference of the International Partnership Against Corruption In Sport (IPACS) in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), ahead of the UNODC Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, he urged governments to join the global fight against corruption in sport.

Bach said: “We are a values-based organisation. We stand for the values of excellence, respect and fair play. In this sense, we have the double duty to uphold good governance and integrity in everything we do.

“We know we cannot win this fight on our own. We need the support of governments when it comes to anti-corruption legislation and law enforcement. This is why IPACS is so important. It brings together all actors that have a stake in fighting corruption in sport.”

The President addressed more than 250 representatives from governments, intergovernmental organisations, international sport organisations and dedicated expert organisations and presented the initiatives the IOC has taken within the Olympic Agenda 2020 reform programme to strengthen the credibility and integrity of sport. These initiatives range from auditing according to the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS), the new candidature process for selecting hosts of Olympic Games to anti-corruption clauses in the contract with Olympic hosts and stronger rules to prevent misconduct as well as to swiftly sanction such behaviour.

“When it comes to fighting corruption and criminal activity in sport, we in sport only have the disciplinary mechanisms at our disposal  which relate to the governance of sport,” said the IOC President.

To the representatives of more than 50 governments attending the meeting, he said: “With IPACS, we now have a platform where we can benefit from your law enforcement capacity. And likewise, through IPACS, we can support you, the government and law enforcement authorities, with regards to investigating criminal activity in the very specific environment of sport. In this way we can mutually benefit from each other’s expertise and we can complement our respective areas of responsibilities.”