Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

IOC 'prepared' for illegal gambling threat, says Rogge

updated 1:04 PM EST, Sun January 15, 2012
  • IOC chief Jacques Rogge says illegal gambling and doping damage credibility of sport equally
  • IOC taking "all precautions" to prevent illegal betting and match fixing
  • Rogge prefers drug cheats not to compete at Olympics, but respectful of recent court ruling
  • IOC will work with police to root out scourge of drugs and illegal gambling

(CNN) -- Illegal gambling threatens the integrity of all sport says International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge, but he's confident that the London Olympics can remain free from the scourge which has tarnished the reputation of cricket and football in recent months.

In his first international interview of 2012, Rogge told CNN that he ranked illegal betting on a par with drug abuse, but not above it.

"I don't think you have to make a ranking between doping and match fixing and illegal betting," Rogge told CNN's Don Riddell.

"Both are very dangerous for the credibility of sport, but you know there is not one that supersedes the other one," he added.

All precautions are being taken to prevent illegal bookmakers cashing in on this year's games he says, which get underway on July 27th.

"You know we already monitored the Beijing Games and the Vancouver Games with a special unit who looked at the results but also who looked at the betting patterns with betting companies," Rogge said.

You have to be prepared and that's the reason why the IOC is working very closely with governments, with betting operators, to try to have prevention
Jacque Rogge, IOC President

In both cases no instances of illegal betting were found he says.

"But you have to be prepared and that's the reason why the IOC is working very closely with governments, with betting operators, to try to have prevention," he said.

Asked about the Court of Arbitration for Sport's recent overturning of the IOC's lifetime ban on convicted drug cheats, Rogge says he respects the decision but would still prefer that athletes caught cheating were banned from competing.

We're not speaking about light infringements like inadvertent use of banned substances, but when you speak about EPO (Erythropoietin) or (other) anabolic steroids this is a big infringement," he said.

"We would prefer not to have these athletes. However, we are respectful for the decisions of the Court of Arbitration (for Sport)."

Quickfire questions with Usain Bolt

While the IOC will do all it can to root out drug cheats, Rogge says he can only go so far.

South Korea's archery ambitions

"Once you get into the phase, a kind of 'drug mafia', distributing and selling the drugs to the athletes then you need the support of police because only police can tap telephones or issue a warrant. These are things that we cannot do," Rogge said.

A triathlon master class

Towards the end of last year it was reported by some UK media that anti-doping officials were educating cleaning and security staff at London 2012 in how to spot suspicious behavior or materials. But Rogge is keen to stress the importance of fair play on and off the track.

"We have to take care of human rights. We have to take care of the laws of the country," he said.

"You know under British law, it is not allowed for sports organizations to search a room. We cannot search luggage. Only police can do that.

"If we suspect something like we had with the Austrian team in Torino, we would advise the police, the police would then take the action they need to take but it is going to be their decision, not ours, because British laws does not allow it for a private organization like us."

To watch the full interview with IOC chief Jacques Rogge watch CNN's Aiming for Gold on Thursday January 19.

Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:53 AM EDT, Mon August 13, 2012
The moment that Team GB's Mo Farah won the 10,000 meters was a wonderful collision of electricity.
updated 11:34 AM EDT, Mon August 13, 2012
His blistering pace and larger-than-life antics made him the king of the track in London, and bolstered his claims to be a "living legend."
updated 5:44 AM EDT, Tue August 14, 2012
Disappointment for Nigeria's Muizat Ajoke Odumosu, who came last in the 400m hurdles final, London 2012 Olympics.
The Olympics are generally won and lost long before the opening ceremony cauldron is touched by fire.
updated 3:38 AM EDT, Sun August 12, 2012
Fans of the home side, Team GB, wave Union Jack flags during the Olympic Games
CNN's Richard Quest believes the London Games will be regarded as having brought the Olympics concept home.
updated 12:33 PM EDT, Sat August 11, 2012
Strategist Alastair Campbell says he never imagined London 2012 would be quite the triumph it turned out to be.
updated 4:57 PM EDT, Tue August 14, 2012
Award-winning director Danny Boyle celebrates the best of British music in London 2012's Olympic Closing Ceremony.
updated 9:52 AM EST, Thu January 31, 2013
From Usain Bolt's record-setting achievements to an unexpected Ugandan gold, London 2012 has provided a wide array of highlights.
updated 11:05 PM EDT, Sun August 12, 2012
CNN's Amanda Davies recaps the London 2012 Olympics from the opening ceremony on July 27 to the finale on day 16.
updated 1:02 PM EDT, Sun August 12, 2012
Mo Farah and Usain Bolt celebrate their success at the London 2012 Olympic Games by copying each other's
It's been just over two weeks since the Queen parachuted into London's Olympic Stadium, her apricot dress flapping in the breeze.
updated 8:14 AM EDT, Wed August 15, 2012
When the world's top marathon runners bid to win Olympic gold, they would do well to draw inspiration from one of the greatest athletes in the history of track and field.
updated 12:33 PM EDT, Sat August 11, 2012
Team GB supporters with their faces painted in Union Jack designs at the Olympic Stadium in London.
Alastair Campbell always thought London 2012 would be a success, but never imagined it would be quite the triumph it has turned out to be.
updated 6:21 AM EDT, Fri August 10, 2012
Adrien Niyonshuti is unlikely to win an Olympic medal, and he will do well to even finish his event, but his story is surely one of the most inspirational.
updated 12:05 PM EDT, Fri August 10, 2012
The colors of the Olympic Rings at the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, August 2012.
Olympic fever has cheered up London and made it a more welcoming place, but will optimism be one of the legacies of the Games?
updated 2:25 PM EDT, Fri August 10, 2012
Wojdan Shaherkani's Olympic debut was short, but sweet -- the Saudi judoka said competing at the Games was
London 2012 is the first Olympics to feature women in every national team, with Jacques Rogge hailing a "major boost for gender equality."
updated 8:40 PM EDT, Thu August 9, 2012
An impoverished South Korean gymnast has not only struck Olympic gold, but also reaped a $444,000 donation in a veritable rags to riches tale.
updated 8:46 PM EDT, Wed August 8, 2012
Britain's hero Jessica Ennis is set to cash in after winning heptathlon gold, but the poster girl of the 2012 Olympics says fame is not her motivation.
updated 3:46 AM EDT, Wed August 8, 2012
China is rallying around fallen hurdler Liu Xiang after he failed to make it past the first-round heat for a second consecutive Olympics.
updated 3:30 PM EDT, Fri August 3, 2012
The first woman to win Olympic gold almost died in a plane crash, but remarkably returned to run again for the U.S. in 1936.
updated 11:04 AM EDT, Tue August 7, 2012
Don Paige could not bear to watch the race he knew he could win. The 1980 Moscow Olympics were the death of a dream for many athletes.
updated 10:21 AM EDT, Sat August 4, 2012
Ricardo Blas Jr
While Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt grab the headlines, little-known athletes from around the world keep alive the original spirit of the Olympics.
Athletes spend years eating the right foods ... and then must resist the free fast food in the Olympic village. How do they do it?