Competition Manipulation

To ensure a fair competition for all involved in athletics, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has developed a set of programmes to raise awareness, monitor, report and investigate any occurrences of Competition Manipulation in the sport.

"As a leader in the the field of sports integrity, keeping competition in athletics fair for all is a top priority for the Athletics Integrity Unit." 

David Howman, The Chair, Athletics Integrity Unit


It is any attempt to control the outcome of a competition or alter the natural course of a sporting event, or part of it. Competition manipulation can be committed for sporting or financial gains, and sometimes via illegal betting or gambling activities.

Key issues related to competition manipulation include:

Fixing - Fixing means any improper alteration of a competition to win money through sports betting or to ensure that a third party wins their bet. Betting-related competition manipulation is not solely restricted to affecting the result of a competition, but can also be linked to other minor and marginal occurrences during its course, which is often referred to as spot-fixing. For instance, deliberately making an invalid attempt or fixing the results in the heats, etc. 

Inside Information - Inside information is all private information (tactics, injuries, etc.) to which athletes, officials and support personnel have access. This information must not be shared as it may be used for betting purposes. 
Tanking - Deliberately losing, know as Tanking, is to gain an undue sporting advantage in a competition. For instance, when athletes lose an event on purpose to compete against easier opponents in the latter phases of a competition.

Sports Betting & Betting Prohibition - Betting on sport is not a negative pursuit. The problems occur only when athletes, their entourage or officials bet on their own sport or, in the worst case this betting leads to the manipulation of competitions. A betting prohibition means that accredited persons are not allowed to bet on their competitions, disciplines at the World Athletics Series Events or other competitions and disciplines at a multi-sports event such as the Olympic Games.

To find out more about competition manipulation and how you, as an athlete, can protect yourself check our information sheet (available in English, Français, Español, 中文, عربى, Kiswahili and አማርኛ) and the videos below.

English Français Español中文 عربى  Japanese Kiswahili አማርኛ 


Athletes, Officials and Athletes' Support Personnel should follow these simple rules.

  1. Don't bet on your own event or on any other competition within the sport of athletics –or any sport at a multi-sport event such as the Olympic Games – where you are participating. 
  2. Don't manipulate a competition or fix a result.
  3. Don't share inside information with anyone. You never know how it could be used.
  4. Don’t accept any undue benefits such as gifts, money, nights at a hotel, etc.
  5. Always report an approach to manipulate a competition. Having knowledge but not reporting can lead to consequences from sanctions, fines to a complete ban.
  6. Always report anything suspicious that you may be aware of if you believe it to be unethical. 
  7. Always cooperate with any investigation carried out by World Athletics or the AIU.

It is your responsibility to be aware of the issues of competition manipulation. Not knowing is not an excuse! If you are in doubt, reach out to the AIU as soon as possible. 


You can play your part in the fight for fairness in athletics by reporting any form of competition manipulation, any approach made toward you to encourage competition manipulation, or any suspicious activity via the link below.

Report Competition Manipulation


In order to avoid violations it is important that all members of the athletics family understand the rules on competition manipulation. You can download the rules around the Manipulation of Sports Competitions by clicking the button below.



The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has developed an e-learning program to help you understand and prevent competition manipulation. 

You can go through the e-learning program by clicking on the button below.