Weekly integrity in sport update from INTERPOL 14-20 December 2015

published on 21 December 2015

In the current Weekly Media Recap, we can read that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has published the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions. The Code aims to provide the Olympic Movement and its members with harmonized regulations to protect all competitions from the risk of manipulation.

In the United Kingdom, the Football Association (FA) has welcomed a new website created to tackle betting-related corruption in sport. The website was established by the Sports Betting Integrity Forum, which is a UK Government backed forum that brings together representatives from sports governing bodies, including the Football Association, betting operators, sport and betting trade associations, law enforcement and gambling regulation.

 

CURRENT INVESTIGATION

Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan authorities are investigating a bid to persuade members of the national cricket team to underperform in a recent Test to ensure a surprise victory for the West Indies, the government said yesterday. Sri Lankan Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jayasekera said a man linked to a bookmaker had approached wicketkeeper Kusal Perera and star bowler Rangana Herath to engineer a Sri Lanka batting collapse at a Test in Galle in October, which the hosts went on to win emphatically. “After Kusal turned down the offer, the man approached Herath, who also rejected the offer and alerted the authorities,” Jayasekera told reporters. “We have started a police inquiry in addition to an anticorruption probe by Sri Lanka Cricket,” he added in reference to the national cricket board. Sri Lanka beat the tourists by an innings and six runs after left-arm spinner Herath took 10 wickets in the match. Jayasekera also suggested that Perera’s recent failure in a doping test might have been because he raised the alarm over the match-fixing attempt. “It is possible that something was slipped into his food or his urine sample was tampered with to get this result,” Jayasekera said. “We are doing our best to defend him.” Sri Lanka Cricket chief executive Ashley de Silva said the board could not discuss the case in line with International Cricket Council anticorruption regulations. “Because of the anticorruption regulations, we cannot say anything,” De Silva told reporters. However a source in the board confirmed that the organization was conducting its own investigation into the claims. “The two players brought this to our notice,” said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Source: AP, "Sri Lanka investigating match-fixing allegations", 19 December 2015, Taipei Times, https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/sport/archives/2015/12/19/2003635142

 

GOOD PRACTICE

Australia

Local sports leagues in Victoria are at risk of match-fixing and corruption because of the rise of unregulated overseas online bookmakers, the Victorian government has warned. In a submission to a federal review of the impact of illegal offshore bookmakers, the state government says "there is a lack of awareness of integrity risks amongst sub-elite and community-based sport in Victoria". The submission said this ignorance was a "particular concern" given the number of betting markets offered by foreign bookies on Victorian sport. During the past decade the amount wagered and lost in Victoria on sports betting has exploded. In 2004-05 punters lost just $24 million from a turnover of $180 million. In 2013-14 this jumped to losses of $213 million from a turnover of $1.3 billion. State regulations require bookmakers to strike agreements with sports controlling bodies to offer markets on their events. But there are only 10 sports controlling bodies registered in Victoria, and all are major organisations such as the AFL, NRL and Netball. Some organisations, such as Football Federation Australia, have oversight over betting on Victorian leagues. The Andrews government is pushing for the review, chaired by former NSW premier Barry O'Farrell, to consider how state and federal governments can develop integrity standards that can be applied to local sports. In 2012 Fairfax Media revealed that foreign and local internet bookmakers were offering odds on suburban and country football and soccer matches, with some clubs and leagues admitting they had no betting policies. And in 2013 a match-fixing ring in the Victorian Premier League was uncovered, with overseas syndicates betting and fixing games in Australia. "We are asking the federal government to develop national standards so we can protect the integrity of local sporting clubs," Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation Jane Garrett said.

Source: Richard Willingham, "Local sports face integrity issues as online gambling grows", 14 December 2015, The Victoria Age, https://www.theage.com.au/victoria/officials-worry-about-integrity-of-local-sports-as-overseas-gambling-grows-20151214-gln9ea.html

LEGISLATION

Switzerland

In its bid to strengthen the integrity and credibility of sport and for the successful protection of clean athletes, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today published the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions. A first of its kind, the Code aims to provide the Olympic Movement and its members with harmonised regulations to protect all competitions from the risk of manipulation. Any sports organisation bound by the Olympic Charter is expected to respect the provisions of the new Code, which was approved by the IOC Executive Board during its meetings last week. On the occasion of the publication of the Code, IOC President Thomas Bach said: “We must do everything we can to protect the millions of clean athletes around the world. Protecting them goes hand in hand with ensuring the environment in which the athletes operate is safe from corrupting influences. Today’s publication of the Code is an important step in fighting manipulation in sport. It is a joint effort of various key stakeholders of the Olympic Movement, particularly the International Federations, and another tangible outcome of Olympic Agenda 2020.” The Code is a regulatory framework defining the different kinds of violations, minimum standards of disciplinary procedures and the scope of sanctions. All National Olympic Committees (NOCs), International Federations (IFs) and their respective members at the continental, regional and national levels, as well as IOC recognised organisations, are called upon to implement regulations in compliance with the Code. This does not prevent sports organisations from having more stringent regulations in place. In order to ensure its application, these stakeholders are also requested to undertake educational measures for their officials, judges and referees as well as for their delegations to international competitions and to multi-sports events. The first implementation of the Code at a Games edition will be in Rio de Janeiro next August, following last week’s approval by the IOC Executive Board of the Rules of Application for the Olympic Games.Moreover, the IOC has reinforced its Integrity Betting Intelligence System (IBIS) and is enhancing monitoring and information exchange between law enforcement agencies, sports organisations and betting operators/regulators.

Source: AP, "IOC publishes unprecedented Olympic Movement Code for preventing competition manipulation", 17 December 2015, Olympic.org, https://www.olympic.org/news/ioc-publishes-unprecedented-olympic-movement-code-for-preventing-competition-manipulation/247646

 

ODDS AND ENDS

United Kingdom

The FA’s director of football regulation and administration Darren Bailey has welcomed the launch of a new website aimed at tackling betting-related corruption in sport. The Sports Betting Integrity Forum, on which Bailey sits as co-chair, has developed a new online resource as part of its strategy to address risks associated with match fixing to help preserve and protect sports betting integrity in the UK. It features a range of best practice products and resources, including examples of education programmes and prevention strategies, models of best practise and case studies and relevant research and reports. Progress reports on the delivery of the Sports and Sports Betting Action Plan will be published on the website, along with news articles and updates related to betting integrity from sport, law enforcement agencies, the betting industry and the Gambling Commission. The UK Government-backed forum brings together representatives from sports governing bodies, including The Football Association, betting operators, sport and betting trade associations, law enforcement and gambling regulation. Bailey said: “The forum was created to further demonstrate the commitment from each partner to protect the integrity of British sport. The launch of the new website exemplifies this collaborative and co-ordinated approach and complements the measures already taken by sport, betting operators and the Gambling Commission to do what is necessary to confront the risks to sport and the betting industry from match fixing.” Nick Tofiluk, director of regulation, said: “We have already taken some very positive steps in Britain to address the risks to the integrity of sport and sports betting. I am delighted that what we have achieved so far, along with our plans for the future is now accessible to all, in one place, via the SBIF website” Tracey Crouch, parliamentary under-secretary for Department for Culture, Media and Sport, added: “The integrity of sport is absolutely paramount and we have to do all that we can to protect it. The Sports Betting Integrity Action Plan is about ensuring that Britain remains a safe place to bet on sport and to tackle any threat of corruption that emerges." “We cannot be complacent. The Gambling Commission, sports bodies, law enforcement agencies and betting operators are all well aligned on this with effective collaboration vital in the fight against match fixing.

Source: AP, "FA welcomes move to tackle betting", 19 December 2015, The FA, https://www.thefa.com/news/governance/2015/dec/darren-bailey-welcomes-move-to-curb-corruption

 

SENTENCES/SANCTIONS

Greece

Greek tennis player Alexandros Jakupovic has been banned for life after being found guilty of five corruption charges, the Tennis Integrity Unit said on Friday. The 34-year-old, who spent his career playing in the lower rungs of the professional game, was charged with various offences including “directly or indirectly contriving the outcome of an event”. The ban starts immediately. Jakupovic reached a career high ranking of 464 in 2009 and was a regular member of the Greek Davis Cup team, playing in 29 ties up to last year. His best result came in 2007 when he beat Ukraine's Alexandr Dolgopolov, now ranked 36 in the world, in straight sets in the fifth rubber of a tie to give Greece victory. The Tennis Integrity Unit is an initiative of the Grand Slam Board, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and the ATP and WTA Tours.

Source: AP, "Greek tennis player banned for life", 18 December 2015, Dawn, https://www.dawn.com/news/1227200/match-fixing-greek-tennis-player-banned-for-life

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