What is Competition Manipulation in Sport?

Competition manipulation is an intentional arrangement aimed at improperly changing the result or the course of a sports competition, to remove all or part of the unpredictable nature of the sports competition with a view to obtaining an undue benefit for oneself or others.

Competition manipulation occurs when a participant(s) in a competition (an athlete, athlete support personnel, official, referee, judge, etc.) cheats to remove the unpredictability of a competition. The participant knowingly underperforms or deliberately makes wrongful decisions affecting the result or course of a competition, which is entirely against the Olympic spirit. The reason behind such an action would be either to gain a sporting advantage (e.g. facing an easier opponent in the 2nd round of a tournament) or to gain a financial benefit, notably linked to sports betting.

What is competition manipulation?

Why people manipulate competition?

What are the Rules and Violations?

In order to best fight against competition manipulation, the IF has adopted rules in line with the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions. Breaches of the rules and the Olympic Movement Code can result in severe damage to your reputation and your , and moreover lead to disciplinary sanctions and criminal sanctions.

Breaches include:

  • Betting on one’s sport and/or on the sports event in which you are a participant
  • Competition manipulation
  • Sharing of inside information
  • Corrupt conduct
  • Failure to cooperate
  • Failure to report

If such a breach is identified, there will be disciplinary proceedings which could lead to disciplinary sanctions for the sportspersons involved.


Relevant breaches of the Code not only undermine the credibility of your sport, but also the credibility of the overall sports movement and all athletes. It is therefore not only a responsibility, but also a moral duty of all of us to report anything that comes to our attention and looks suspicious. It is our right and obligation to contribute to protecting the moral integrity of our fellow athletes and our sport by reporting in a secure manner any potential breach that comes to our attention at your earliest opportunity.

Believe in Sport awareness campaign

In order to prevent the proliferation of competition manipulation, the IF together with the IOC and its educational campaign “ Believe in Sport", first and foremost seek to ensure that all athletes, officials and support personnel  are aware of the Code of Conduct of the Olympic Movement Unit on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions in order to protect themselves and from threats linked to competition manipulation.

The Believe in Sport Campaign provides a wide range of informative and ready-to-use resources, including audio-visual materials, a mobile app and e-learning courses for the Olympic Movement stakeholders to teach themselves and raise awareness about the threats of competition manipulation in sport. For more information:   Believe in Sport  campaign and Toolbox

E-learning on competition manipulation

The Believe in Sport e-learning course on competition manipulation is a 20-minute online course, available on the IOC’s Athlete365 platform, aimed at specifically athletes and coaches, but also available for officials and athlete support personnel, and sports administrators. It is available in 6 languages and accessible here: Prevention of Competition Manipulation e-learning course.