Lisbon, 10 June 2019 – SIGA, the world’s leading coalition on sport integrity, will provide training, education and capacity building on sport integrity to Portuguese judges, prosecutors and law enforcement agents. Developed in association with SIGA members, the Portuguese Olympic Committee and ICSS INSIGHT, the initiative was announced during a joint conference hosted by the Judiciary Police of Portugal, in Lisbon.

Opening the conference, the SIGA CEO, Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, stated:Sport is vulnerable to criminal activity – that’s a fact! To pursue its mission to the fullest, law enforcement needs specific training, expertise and resources. This is why SIGA and our members are partnering with Law Enforcement, in Portugal and all over the world. Today, we gave a fundamental first step and set in motion a wider strategy to root corruption and the growing threat of transnational organised crime out of sport.

Amadeu Guerra, Lisbon District Attorney General, addressed the modern criminality in sport and highlighted: “Corruption in sport uses the same practices as other financial crime. What we need in terms of investigating corruption in sport is the same as for other areas of criminal activity: more capacity in terms of both technology and resource. Laws already allow for collection of evidence. What we need is witness protection and access to fiscal databases in order to be more effective.”

Luis Neves, National Director of the Judiciary Police of Portugal, stressed the significance of the conference and called for enhanced cooperation in the fight against crime: “Today is a landmark to fight against corruption in sport. We have brought the entire law enforcement representatives together.  We can only win this fight if we unite efforts.” In an allusion to the Macolin Convention on Match-Fixing, which Portugal was the first country to ratify, Luis Neves assured the audience that “The judiciary police is committed to ensure that corruption is kept out of sport.”

Sharing his international experience, Giovanni Tartaglia, Magistrate and Legal Advisor of Foreign Ministry of Italy, clarified: “Sport corruption is organised crime. The mafia want to create the cultural acceptance of corruption in society and the acceptance of corruption in sport. The risk of corruption can be significantly reduced through the adoption and implementation of integrity guidelines, such as the SIGA Universal Standards.”

Mohammed Hanzab, Chairman and CEO, ICSS, stated: “I commend you for hosting this forum which willingly unites us to work together on an international and domestic level. . . .The vision and the experience of Portugal in the field of anti-corruption in sport, have represented an extraordinary contribution to the work conducted by the ICSS since our establishment, work that has led to the production of key international tools, frameworks and coalitions, such as the Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA) of which both the ICSS and the COP are active and founding members.”

Amongst other relevant topics, the conference addressed “International Cooperation – Opening the Opacity Window to Criminal Investigation”, David Luna, President & CEO, Luna Global Networks & Convergence Strategies, Former Chair of the OEDC Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade and Senior Director, US State Department said: “Corruption in sport when it converges with other forms of corruption in our societies, begins to decay the pillars of integrity across our communities. We need immediate, direct, and coordinated action across borders: This is why SIGA’s anti-corruption initiative and the leadership from Portuguese law enforcement are vital first steps needed to elevate our collective efforts to ensure a lasting culture of integrity.”


Emma McClarkin, SIGA’s newly appointed Director of Global Sports Policy said: “We need to look at the legal framework to check that criminal legislation that exists is being interpreted and implemented for criminal acts in sport. If not, what can we as policy makers and law enforcement do to ensure criminal activity in sport is taken seriously and followed up as a priority with full investigations and prosecutions?

Concluding the event, José Manuel Constantino, President, National Olympic Committee of Portugal, commented: “The integrity of sport is at stake. These threats facing the sporting industry go beyond the current means and resources of law enforcement. The National Olympic Committee of Portugal has made considerable endeavors to implement a sport integrity programme that overcomes the current vulnerabilities of the system. The “zero tolerance speech” must give room to concrete actions to prevent and fight against criminality associated with sport. That is a collective responsibility.”