International Betting and Integrity Association (IBIA) will continue working on its efforts to promote a safer sports betting environment for everyone. To this end, the organization is bringing Jean-François Reymond as its Education Ambassador for Athletes.
As part of the ambassadorial team, Reymond will promote sports betting awareness and best practices in what is dynamically evolving markets across North and South America. More importantly, he will talk to athletes and explain the pitfalls of betting and how professional athletes may be involved in it despite their better judgment.
Driving the Sports Integrity Message Home
IBIA, similarly to Sportradar, has been focused on protecting the integrity of sports by collaborating with sports franchises, leagues, and individual players who have a prominent presence in important jurisdictions. Through these efforts, IBIA has been able to educate people about the dangers of sports fraud and corruption.
Reymond is a person who is a good fit for the job, citing his experience as Secretary-General of EU Athletes in 2012 where he worked on sports betting education projects. He was also a participant of a French-based platform that focuses on the detection and prosecution of sports fraud. Reymond was part of the team between 2016 and 2019 where he garnered further relevant experience.
IBIA CEO Khalid Ali has welcomed the addition of Reymond, citing his vast experience in the issues of sports betting and athletes. As part of his job, Reymond will focus on educating athletes and players about the dangers of match-fixing.
Corruption has permeated all levels of sports with organized crime groups targeting vulnerable athletes and trying to make them participate in fraudulent activities. With match-fixing now more visible owing to the work of IBIA and Sportradar, though, integrity bodies have been able to respond.
Reymond will work on a bespoke training program to educate both male and female athletes who will be enabled to better understand both the challenges in overcoming corruption as well as develop healthy habits that will keep them safe.
Reymond himself welcomed the opportunity to be working on this project and contribute to the safety of competitions. He commented:
“A lack of awareness of a growing number of different regulatory models and sporting rules is creating an increasingly challenging environment for sportspeople.”
He further commented on the dangers of sports fraud by explaining that the knock-on effects for actual athletes are serious, from their personal lives to their careers, to reputation. He said that he was motivated to get help to athletes who needed it and use his experience in the industry to warn others who may be tempted to give in questionable practices in sports.
Sports fraud has been a problem and players have been coming under scrutiny over it with reports about match-fixing from all over the world. IBIA posted its report for 2021 earlier this year, indicating that there have been a total of 236 betting alerts related to suspicious gambling.