Investigation of manipulation of sports competitions

Sports federations play a central role in the investigation of manipulation of sports competitions, because any sanctioning is carried out by the federations. Whenever necessary, FINCIS can support the investigation or carry out the investigation upon the request of a federation. FINCIS or the federation submit a report of an offence to the police if the investigation reveals any matters that entail a reasonable cause to suspect a crime. 

Suspicions of manipulation of sports competitions may be revealed through enquiries, unusual betting behaviour, clues, international exchange of information or other similar factors. Anyone in sports can be involved in an attempted manipulation of sports competitions. If the sport does not have its own notification channels, the ILMO Service on FINCIS’ website can be used.

Initiating the investigation

Whenever an enquiry or investigation is initiated, it is recorded in a report. The reports are automatically assigned a number and labelled to indicate who submitted the report, when and how it was submitted and what it is about. The description part of the report includes current information about the matter or event under investigation. In addition, the expectations towards FINCIS are laid out. A key principle in each investigation is the presumption of innocence.

The analysis of the preliminary information outlines who the concerned parties are and which rules or principles are applied in the investigation or, in practice, whether the rules cover the matter being investigated. An additional goal of this phase is to determine whether there are any special characteristics in the operating environment or if there are any previous cases similar to the current case. An assessment of the duration of a possible investigation is also made at this stage. 

A decision on whether to start an investigation or an alternative process, such as a report of a criminal offence, is made according to the internal protocol of FINCIS. Any possible parties to co-operate with are also determined at this stage. International partners are often important for the investigation of manipulation of sports competitions. The process is explained to the parties concerned in as much detail as possible, as long as this is possible without jeopardising the investigation. No outsiders are informed of the initiation of an investigation.

Investigation phase

The parties concerned are interviewed in the actual investigation. These interviews are reported in memos that indicate who was present in the interview, where and when the interview was conducted. In addition to face-to-face interviews, it is also possible to conduct interviews by phone or e-mail.

In addition to the interviews, other relevant and available materials are also gathered. Important material in the investigation of manipulation of sports competitions includes, for example, betting data, reports from match or competition supervisors as well as photos and video recordings. Any intelligence available will also be used to the extent possible.If a suspected offence arises, a criminal offence is reported. 

Closing the investigation

The materials generated during the investigation are gathered, stored and archived by FINCIS. The investigation materials do not include any conclusions that suggest whether any disciplinary actions should be taken or not. The final investigation materials are submitted to the sports federations for the purpose of deciding on any disciplinary actions. The sports federations are responsible for delivering the materials to the parties concerned, and the federations may request additional information from the parties concerned whenever necessary. According to the current provisions, it is possible to lodge a complaint of a decision issued by a disciplinary body with the Finnish Sports Arbitration Board.

According to the current policy of FINCIS, any investigation materials are not disclosed to other parties with the exception of requests for information from the competent authorities.

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