In line with international best practice and in the interests of all players, their support personnel and unions, World Rugby has implemented a comprehensive anti-corruption strategy for Rugby World Cup 2015.
Interest in RWC 2015 has never been higher and, with that rise in profile, it is expected that it will attract record levels of betting compared with previous tournaments.
In view of the threats to integrity experienced by other sports and in light of best practice including as implemented by the International Olympic Committee, World Rugby has proactively put in place a robust and proportionate integrity programme for RWC 2015. Its stated purpose is to protect the tournament and its participants from corrupt practices and unauthorised gambling.
In addition, World Rugby has partnered with the UK Gambling Commission along with UK police to establish a sophisticated integrity framework around the event.
Central to World Rugby’s integrity strategy is the delivery of education to all players, teams and match officials. All participants are required to complete the World Rugby online anti-corruption and betting education programme at http://integrity.worldrugby.org/ prior to the commencement of the tournament. The education programme, has been implemented successfully at many levels of the game since 2012 and currently has nearly 10,000 registered users.
When teams and match officials arrive in England for the tournament, supplemental education is planned through the medium of an in-person briefing from World Rugby integrity officers. These officers, who are all experts in the field of sports integrity, will be present throughout the tournament to deal with any queries or issues teams or officials may have in relation to integrity and to protect the participants from any unauthorised third-party approaches.
In conjunction with these partnerships, World Rugby has contracted the world’s leading betting monitoring agency, Sportradar. Using its widely trusted Fraud Detection System (FDS), it will monitor global betting markets for any suspicious betting behaviours and anomalous odds movements. In addition, the FDS will also monitor the volumes across the markets to provide a unique insight into potential infringements of the integrity code.
World Rugby Chief Executive Brett Gosper said: “Corruption is a big issue in sport and we have seen how some sports’ reputations have been damaged by incidents of match-fixing and other breaches of anti-corruption rules. While there is no evidence that a problem exists in rugby we would be naïve to think it could not happen and it would be irresponsible not to implement appropriate measures to guard against it.
“Rugby is now part of the Olympic family and anti-corruption considerations are an integral part of the Olympic Charter. So we have a wider responsibility to the global sports family to uphold the principles of fair play and integrity in every aspect of the tournament. Anti-corruption is a crucial part of that.”
In addition to the Gambling Commission and its close relationship with UK police, World Rugby has also signed integrity memoranda of understanding with leading gambling operators, to enable World Rugby to access the vast databases of betting information held by those bodies.