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 Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017.
Women’s rugby continues to reach and inspire new audiences in record numbers and with Ireland 2017 set to be the most-watched, best-attended and most socially-engaged Women’s Rugby World Cup to date, it is anticipated that it will attract record levels of betting in comparison with other tournaments.
With protecting and promoting integrity in all its forms a continued priority for World Rugby, the international federation has developed a robust and proportionate integrity programme for the event. Its purpose is to protect participants and the tournament from corrupt practices and unauthorised gambling.
With that in mind, World Rugby has partnered with the Irish Garda Siochana and the Police Service Northern Ireland 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, Keep Rugby Onside, at integrity.worldrugby.org prior to the tournament. The education programme, has been implemented successfully at many levels of the game since 2012 and currently has nearly 20,000 registered users. It also includes a reporting page for whistle-blowers.
As teams and match officials arrive in Ireland for the tournament, supplemental education is planned through the medium of an in-person briefing from World Rugby integrity officers. These officers, who are 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.
World Rugby has contracted a leading betting monitoring agency to monitor global betting markets for any suspicious betting behaviours and anomalous odds movements.
World Rugby Chief Executive Brett Gosper said: "Corruption continues to be a threat for all sports 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.
“Through this important partnership, we are protecting and supporting players and officials, while providing a framework that will detect any issues, should they arise, in line with our continued commitment to maintain a level playing field in rugby.”
In addition to these partnerships, 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.
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