VILNIUS - Six Lithuanian institutions signed on Thursday a renewed agreement to cooperate in combating sports manipulation.
"It is very important to commit ourselves to international standards that are being developed and have been developed," Education, Science and Sport Minister Algirdas Monkevicius told reporters after the signing ceremony.
"I am glad that we have renewed the agreement and will develop (...) a national plan modelled on that of Denmark, an EU member state," he said.
The agreement will help Lithuania to prepare for ratification of the Council of Europe's Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions, also known as the Macolin Convention, according to the Education, Science and Sport Ministry.
"By ratifying the Macolin Convention, Lithuania will commit to more effective international and national cooperation between interested parties – state authorities, sports organizations and sports betting operators – to combat unfair sports competitions," it said in a press release.
The convention also obliges signatory states to establish a national platform to collect, analyze and share relevant information, coordinate anti-manipulation efforts, and cooperate with other states' national platforms.
The document was signed by Education, Science and Sport Minister Algirdas Monkevicius, Interior Minister Rita Tamasuniene, Zydrunas Bartkus, the director of the Special Investigation Service, Prosecutor General Evaldas Pasilis, Virginijus Dauksys, the director of the Gaming Control Authority, Antoni Mikulski, the director of the Financial Crime Investigation Service, and Police Commissioner General Renatas Pozela.
“I do not think that the problem is smaller in Lithuania than in other countries. New technologies imply that the problem is becoming increasingly acute," Tamasuniene told reporters after the ceremony.
Police are currently carrying out three pre-trial investigations into suspected manipulation of sports results, she said.
The signing ceremony was to be followed by a discussion with Michael Ask, the CEO of Anti-Doping Denmark.
According to the Lithuanian Education, Science and Sport Ministry, manipulation of sports competitions is one of the biggest threats to today's sport.
The European Commission has expressed concern that manipulation of the results of sports competitions violates the ethics and integrity of sport.
The original agreement on cooperation in the fight against the manipulation of the results of sports competitions was signed in April 2015.