Trials date for boxers set and Ministry approves Prevention of Sporting Fraud Bill

Published 01 May 2014 | Authored by: Manali Kulkarni

Indian sports law update for this week centres around the April 22nd IPL corruption case hearing, the IOA ad-hoc committee’s commitment to Indian boxers participating in international competitions, and the recent approval of the ‘Prevention of Sporting Fraud Bill’.

The significant development in the IPL case hearing for this week was the Supreme Court rejecting the proposed BCCI probe committee due to a conflict of interest. It appears that the concerns surrounding the IPL- 6 fixing scandal played a part in the Home Ministry’s decision to approve the Sports Ministry’s draft ‘Prevention of Sporting Fraud Bill’, hoping to “cleanse” Indian sports.


Trial dates set for Indian amateur boxers 

According to a Times of India article, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) 1 ad-hoc committee, formed to ensure that Indian boxers and coaches continue participating in international tournaments despite the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation’s (IABF’s) 2 de-recognition, “decided to hold selection trials for the Commonwealth Games next month,”3 and trials for the Asian Games will take place in August.

The six-member panel, comprised of IOA vice-president, Tarlochan Singh, two sports administrators, Rakesh Gupta and Kuldip Vats, India’s International Boxing Association (AIBA) 4 representative, Kishan Narsi, as well as “national coach GS Sandhu and former boxer Mehtab Singh,” met last week to address various issues Indian boxers are currently encountering. 

Due to the de-recognition of Indian boxing, the boxers and coaches will be “competing under the International Boxing Association (AIBA) flag.” The Committee’s convener, Rakesh Gupta, explained: “[w]e have decided to select the Commonwealth Games core group of boxers in both the men's and women's category,” and continued, “[a]ll national medallists in 2012 and international medallists after that besides the current set of campers in Patiala will be eligible to participate.”5 The trials for July’s Commonwealth Games (CWG) are set to take place from May 7 to 11 in Patiala, and the final selection will be from May 20 to 23. 

The other international tournament is the Asian Games, being held in September in South Korea. The Indian boxers will compete in trials for the Asian Games from 9-11 August. According to the Times of India article, the ad-hoc committee has additionally asked the International Boxing Association (AIBA) “to provide exposure trips to the Indians” as a means to prepare the athletes for the two upcoming tournaments, CWG and Asian Games. (See previous blog for further details on the IOA ad-hoc committee ).6

The Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) continues to wait for official correspondence from the AIBA on being recognized again, pending the formation of a “new federation.” The AIBA has already opened applications to those who are dedicated and passionate about boxing to apply to create a new federation.  

The IOA ad-hoc committee’s actions seem to have been effective as Indian boxers were approved to compete in the Chemistry Cup in Halle, Germany next month7. The selection trials for the Chemistry Cup will be held on May 20, 2014. The “proper selection process” for the upcoming tournament has yet to be discussed; however, the ad-hoc committee has successfully kept their focus on providing Indian boxers opportunities to compete internationally.


Home Ministry approves Prevention of Sporting Fraud Bill

In an effort to “cleanse sports” in India, the Sports Ministry8 drafted a ‘Prevention of Sporting Fraud Bill9which was recently approved by the Home Ministry10. The “new government” will have the final say regarding the bill’s approval. Thus, it appears that the Sports Ministry will probably “prepare a note for the Cabinet” before the bill is moved to the Parliament for the final approval. The chair of the IPL probe committee, Justice Mukul Mudgal, was directed by the Sports Ministry to lead the committee that initially drafted the Prevention of Sporting Fraud Bill.

A DNA Sport article outlined what constitutes as a sporting fraud offence in the following ways. One, a person must “directly or indirectly” manipulate or attempt to manipulate the results, regardless if the “outcome is actually altered or not,” or if he/she “deliberately misapplies the rules of the sport.” Another act that qualifies as a sporting fraud is purposefully failing to perform at one’s “true potential, unless such underperformance can be attributed to strategic or tactical reason deployed in the interest of that sport or team.” Additionally, “disclosure of ‘insider information’ and ‘failure to disclose knowledge of or attempt for sporting fraud’,” will also be considered a sports fraud.

Such actions are punishable under the draft bill with a maximum of five years in prison and Rs 10 lakh (9,807 in GBP), or “five times the economic benefits derived by the person from sporting fraud, whichever is greater.

A Metropolitan Magistrate or Judicial Magistrate and all courts superior to these two types can hear any sports fraud offences under this draft bill.

For further details on the Sports Ministry’s Bill, see Desh Gaurav Sekhri’s article, ‘A Critique of India’s ‘Prevention of Sporting Fraud Bill, 2013 ’.12

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About the Author

Manali Kulkarni

Manali Kulkarni

Manali is the COO at LawInSport and executive contributor of the editorial board for LawInSport. She holds an LLM in Sports Law from Nottingham Law School (Nottingham Trent University).

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