International Symposium Identifies Priorities for Protecting Athletes and Canadian Sport from Competition Manipulation

Ottawa – June 2, 2023 – Following a two-day symposium in Toronto, experts from a variety of industries identified the need for a coordinated pan-Canadian approach to prevent competition manipulation that is bolstered by comprehensive education. The 2023 Symposium on Competition Manipulation and Gambling in Sport, co-hosted by McLaren Global Sport Solutions (MGSS) and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES), brought together more than 150 delegates from key sectors, including athletes, national and international sport, regulatory agencies, betting operators, academia, legal, technology, and law enforcement.

The symposium examined the issue of competition manipulation using three themes – the current landscape, Canada’s response, and the international perspective. Throughout, experts emphasized that protecting athletes and sport from competition manipulation and match-fixing will require collaboration and alignment across multiple sectors, both in Canada and internationally. 

“The symposium highlighted the fact that Canadian sport needs a plan to address the threat of competition manipulation now before it gets a stronger foothold in Canada. A harmonized, pan-Canadian competition manipulation policy developed with athletes that includes comprehensive education and is administered by an independent organization would be consistent with best practices from sport and other countries, and would contribute to a safer environment for athletes and support personnel. The CCES is committed to working with partners, including athletes, to make it a reality,”  said Jeremy Luke, CCES president and CEO. “We appreciate everyone who shared their expertise about this emerging issue, and those who attended the symposium to learn more about this topic.”

This event was a follow-up to the 2019 Symposium on Match Manipulation and Gambling in Sport. In the intervening years, Bill C-218 passed, which legalized single-event sports betting and instigated major changes to the domestic sport gambling landscape. More betting means an increased likelihood of match-fixing and other threats to sport integrity and athlete safety, which further supports the need for Canada to implement protective measures.

“Canada is not immune to the global threat of competition manipulation in sport driven by the adoption of single-event sports betting and fueled by a grey market that persists despite the regulated market. Government, regulators, gaming operators, and the sport community must work together to develop an integrated regulatory framework to mitigate these risks. This is critical to better educate and support Canadian athletes who are vulnerable to bad actors,” said Professor Richard H . McLaren, O.C., CEO of MGSS Inc.   

The importance of education and awareness about competition manipulation was a common theme throughout the event. 

"Competition manipulation is in its infantile stages in Canada, so there's an urgent need to provide the sport community – athletes, officials, coaches, and parents – with comprehensive education before it really takes hold. Athletes, in particular, need to be able to recognize competition manipulation, know how to report it, and understand the risks and possible sanctions," said symposium presenter Jacqueline Simoneau, two-time Olympian, International Olympic Committee Believe in Sport Ambassador, and member of the Canadian Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission.

The CCES is currently running a pilot project to help national sport organizations effectively manage the threat of competition manipulation. Six organizations have committed to working with the CCES for 18 months to implement a competition manipulation policy, which is supported by education, reporting, monitoring, investigations, and disciplinary proceedings. Feedback from the pilot project will inform next steps on how to work collectively to protect Canadian sport from competition manipulation.

The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA), together with its members bet365, Betway, and FanDuel, were presenting sponsors for the symposium – demonstrating their commitment to combating betting corruption to protect the integrity of sport and regulated betting markets globally.

For information about the symposium and a complete list of speakers, go to  

About the CCES

The CCES works collaboratively to ensure Canadians have a positive sport experience. Through its programs, the CCES manages unethical issues in sport, protects the integrity of Canadian sport, and promotes True Sport to activate values-based sport on and off the field of play. The CCES is an independent, national, not-for profit organization that is responsible for the administration of the Canadian Anti-Doping Program. The CCES acknowledges funding, in part, from the Government of Canada. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

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