Volleyball and beach volleyball legends Giba and Louise Bawden join IOC Believe in Sport campaign

The two renowned former athletes will work as ambassadors to educate others on preventing competition manipulation and protecting the integrity of sport

The FIVB is delighted to announce that three-time Olympic medallist Gilberto 'Giba' Amauri de Godoy Filho and three-time Olympian Louise Bawden have been nominated as athlete ambassadors for the IOC’s Believe in Sport campaign aimed at preventing competition manipulation.

As part of the campaign, which was initially launched in 2018, Giba and Bawden will work alongside other athlete ambassadors from the global sports community to raise awareness of the issue of competition manipulation among athletes, their entourages and officials.

For example, in the campaign leading up to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, they will engage with the volleyball and beach volleyball athlete community through online webinars and social media to highlight potential risks and educate athletes on how to best safeguard and protect themselves against opportunities to manipulate competitions.

Brazilian volleyball legend Giba brings a wealth of experience to the campaign from both his illustrious playing career and work as the Chair of the FIVB Athletes’ Commission. As an Olympian with the Brazil national men’s volleyball team, Giba won gold at Athens 2004 and silver at Beijing 2008 and London 2012. He also boasts three FIVB World Championship titles, having won gold in 2002, 2006 and 2010.

In addition, as the FIVB Athletes’ Commission Chair since 2016, Giba has played a key role in projects such as the FIVB Athletes’ Relief Support fund and the first-ever FIVB Athletes’ Commission elections.

Following his nomination as an ambassador, Giba said:

“I am proud to be able to join this campaign and help ensure that athletes know how to protect themselves and sport from competition manipulation. Athletes have a responsibility to know and follow the rules to safeguard their career and reputation, while concentrating on competing at their best and winning through integrity and fair play.”

Australia’s Bawden began her career playing indoor volleyball before moving to beach volleyball in 2009. She also made three Olympic Games appearances, competing in the volleyball competition at Sydney 2000 and the beach volleyball competitions at London 2012 and Rio 2016. Over the course of her 20-year career, Bawden won 201 matches with six different partners before retiring in 2018. 

Bawden said:

“Being an ambassador for this campaign is an opportunity for me to help educate athletes on competition manipulation to ensure the credibility and integrity of sport. It is essential for all athletes to be aware of the rules and know the consequences, but it is also important for them to be able to recognise suspicious behaviour and know how to report it via the official channels.”

FIVB President Dr Ary S. Graça F° said:

“Protecting the integrity of sport is a top priority for the FIVB, and we will continue to ensure that our sport is built on principles of fairness and respect. I have no doubt that both Louise and Giba will be excellent ambassadors for the Believe in Sport campaign, helping to ensure that athletes across the world of sport are knowledgeable about competition manipulation and are equipped with the necessary tools to protect themselves and their sport.”

In 2019, the FIVB launched its Prevention of Competition Manipulation E-Learning Course aimed at athletes, coaches, referees and FIVB officials. The e-learning programme is a mandatory requirement to participate in FIVB and world competitions, and thus far a total of 6128 players and 1406 officials have participated in the course to further their knowledge on the threat of competition manipulation.

Competition manipulation is a real threat to each and every sport and can take place when an athlete or official knowingly underperforms or deliberately makes decisions that affect the course of a competition. This results in an unfair advantage, normally in the form of a financial or sporting benefit.

As such, protecting clean athletes and fair sport is a top priority for the Olympic Movement, and both the IOC and FIVB are committed to fighting all forms of cheating that threaten the integrity and essence of sport.