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The anti-corruption Olympiad

International sporting events can foster corruption as well as competition

The XXII Olympic Winter Games will begin on Feb. 7 in Sochi, Russia. While the Olympic tradition is supposed to be grounded in the spirit of international competition and goodwill, in reality, the Games provide a huge chance for companies and countries to make a lot of money. For this reason, there has been a seedy undercurrent of corruption and bribery associated with the Olympics in recent years. What, then, should companies who dip their toes in the frozen waters of the Winter Olympics know about corruption compliance in Russia?

According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2103, Russia ranked 127th out of 177 countries, landing it in the bottom third. To address this, the country has adopted international anti-bribery and corruption laws, similar to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, for the first time.

Sports Business Daily offers several suggestions for companies that want to ensure gold-medal compliance with international bribery and anti-corruption laws. It suggests focusing on risk assessment, which should be taken on a country-by-country basis, as well as including third party due diligence and having an ethics as well as risk component. It also recommends strong commitment to compliance from the C-suite and the board, and creating a code of conduct spearheaded by the chief risk officer.

Additionally, the recommendations call for ensuring that all employees and third parties are properly equipped to deal with international anti-corruption regulations, creating an anonymous tip line for anyone who wishes to report possible violations, and hiring the best people to be on the ground in international locations. Finally, these programs should be customizable and in a state of continuous improvement.

If companies follow these guidelines, they’ll be sure to get high scores from the international judges at the Winter Olympics.


For more stories about corruption, check out the following:

Ethics vs. compliance: Do we really need to talk about both?

Motorola patent suit brings light to corruption in patent system

Best practices for compliance in an ever-changing regulatory landscape

Archer Daniels Midland appoints new chief compliance officer

Senior Editor and Community Manager

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Rich Steeves

Richard P. Steeves is Senior Editor and Community Manager of InsideCounsel magazine, where he covers the intellectual property and compliance beats. Rich earned a B.A....

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