Cheating and competition manipulation

Cheating is when someone acts dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage. It goes against the spirit of sport, the principle of fair play and the Olympic values.

Cheating is simply not tolerated in archery.

There are two types of cheating: one where an athlete or official will try to manipulate competition in order to change its outcome for sporting gain, and another where a person will manipulate a competition for someone’s financial gain.

Cheating in archery

Archery is not a sport in which cheating is common. Scoring is usually done by a group of competitors or officials in the open, equipment is checked regularly, doping is not prevalent and few events are subject to betting. It is up to athletes to ensure the sport remains that way.

Scoring: Calling an incorrect arrow value, writing down an incorrect arrow value or changing the value of an arrow on a scoresheet are possible ways to alter the score of an archer and outcome of a competition.

Athletes should stay vigilant when arrows are scored, checking both the target and the scoresheet when recording their own arrows and their opponents, to ensure scores are not manipulated. Any arrow value changes must be approved by athlete or judge signatures.

Equipment: At the start of each event, all equipment is checked by a judge. Athletes are trusted to use only equipment that has passed the inspection in a tournament.

Additional spot checks are permitted and athletes are encouraged to report any suspicious equipment to judges.

Clean sport: World Archery is committed to keeping archery clean. Doping tests are regularly carried out at international events.

Other forms of cheating in archery do exist; stay vigilant.

Competition manipulation

Cheating in order to change the outcome of a competition for financial gain is often called match-fixing. Competition manipulation also relates to someone purposefully losing or underperforming in order to gain later advantage, otherwise called tanking or sandboxing.

Due to the transparent nature of the sport and its competition formats, match-fixing is not very easy and not a common occurrence.

Betting and inside information

Athletes, referees, officials and related persons are not allowed to bet on a sport or competition in which they are involved. 

For example, an archer cannot bet on a world championships they will compete in – or even on the athletics at an Olympic Games that he or she attends.

Athletes and officials must also keep exclusive information such as tactics or injuries that are not in the public domain private to prevent it from being used for fraudulent betting purposes.

Prevention and whistleblowing

Athletes and officials can take an active part in preventing competition manipulation by reporting suspicious activity, not betting and steering well clear of the temptation to cheat themselves.

Any individual who is suspected of cheating should be reported to competition or federation officials.

Any individual who approaches someone with the suggestion to cheat – be they a stranger or someone trusted – should also be reported.

Recognise someone cheating or an approach to cheat and inform an official or use the International Olympic Committee’s integrity and compliance hotline.

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