INTERPOL said it is to coordinate a global investigation led by France into an alleged international corruption scam involving sports officials as well as athletes suspected of a doping cover-up.
The announcement follows the publication of a report by an Independent Commission established by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) investigating a number of individuals, including former officials of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
The Independent Commission’s findings follow its investigation into doping allegations aired on German television in December 2014.
During its investigation the Independent Commission requested assistance from INTERPOL’s anti-doping unit to contact national law enforcement agencies in countries where potential infractions had been identified in order to share intelligence.
In this respect, INTERPOL facilitated the Independent Commission’s contact with French authorities who agreed to undertake an international inquiry into allegations including active and passive corruption, money laundering and criminal conspiracy.
They appointed the country’s national anti-corruption department of the central directorate of judicial police (Office central de lutte contre la corruption et les infractions financières et fiscales, OCLCIFF, Direction centrale de la police judiciaire, DCPJ) to launch the inquiry, headed by French investigative magistrate Renaud Van Ruymbeke.
As part of the inquiry, French police last week raided premises belonging to individuals and companies.
In the framework of Operation Augeas launched by INTERPOL, the world police body is now working with member countries potentially linked to the inquiry, including Singapore, to seek assistance in coordinating a global investigative network and support the criminal investigation on the basis of the intelligence gathered by the Independent Commission.
Depending on the progression and outcome of the investigation, and in collaboration with the relevant authorities, the Independent Commission expects to publish the full and final version of its report by the end of 2015.
In 2009 INTERPOL and WADA signed a cooperation agreement to provide a clear framework for cooperation between the two international bodies in tackling doping.
The call for INTERPOL’s involvement by the Independent Commission is part of joint efforts by both agencies to develop best practice and inter-agency cooperation at all levels, particularly in the areas of evidence gathering, information sharing and trafficking in doping.