INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin - 2-16 October 2017

In this edition of the bi-weekly, we have a look at ongoing cases in Australia and Sweden, innovative policies in German Ice Hockey, and alerts on tennis as reported by the Tennis Integrity Unit.

In addition, we have an insight into how bookmakers deal with high winning customers. Finally, we look at the successful cooperation between law enforcement and the Asian Football Confederation in Nepal.

 

INVESTIGATIONS

Australia

Police to scrap match-fixing investigation

One of the NRL’s longest-running sagas is set to end within weeks as NSW Police prepare to close the book on the match-fixing investigation. The Australian understands NSW Police are likely to formally announce the end of the investigation without any charges being laid, removing at least one of the dark clouds hanging over the NRL and Sydney club Manly since last season. At least two Sea Eagles games were at the centre of the investigation, which began amid what now appear to be erroneous claims that as many as six players had been paid $50,000 apiece to manipulate the outcome of the matches. One of those was Manly’s game against South Sydney in June 2015, while the other was the club’s loss to Parramatta in August that year. However, it is understood NSW Police have uncovered no evidence of match fixing and charges will not be laid against any rugby league players. Police set up Strike Force Nuralda to deal with the allegations, using the coercive powers of the NSW Crime Commission to carry out a wide-ranging and extensive investigation. It is understood players and officials were interviewed but the matter is now on the verge of being closed, with an announcement pending. The news will be welcomed by Manly, who had to deal with damaging suggestions that some of their games were the subject of match fixing. The club conducted its own internal review, appointing former NSW chief steward Ray Murrihy to conduct a sweeping analysis of their own integrity measures. It is understood a spin-off from that investigation prompted the current NRL inquiries into allegations of salary cap irregularities at the club. That investigation is continuing, although the Sea Eagles have strenuously denied any wrongdoing. The Sea Eagles managed to overcome the murky speculation to qualify for the finals series under coach Trent Barrett, although their premiership campaign came to a rapid end when they were bundled out by Penrith. The club did enjoy some success on grand final day when their under-20s side came back from the dead to win the final edition of the competition yesterday. The under-20s will be disbanded at the end of the season as it reverts to a state-based competition. The Sea Eagles recovered from a 14-0 deficit after just 14 minutes to stun the Eels. After scores were levelled 14-14 early in the second half, the Eels held out wave after wave of Sea Eagles’ attack before they took the lead back in the 68th minute through winger Greg Leleisiuao. But in what would be the last play of the game, Manly hooker Manase Fainu found prop Keith Titmuss, who crashed his way over next to the left post with two minutes on the clock. Centre Tevita Funa then slotted the conversion as the full-time siren sounded to give Manly the lead for the only time in the match. The NRL is also expected to close a number of outstanding issues in coming weeks, most notably the pay talks with the Rugby League Players Association. Talks have been ongoing for close to a year but it is understood they are perilously close to finalising a new collective bargaining agreement to cover the next five years. Players are set to receive a massive pay hike as a result, with the average wage going north of $300,000 and the salary cap set to hit $9.4 million.

Source: 2 October 2017, the Australian

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/nrl/police-to-scrap-match-fixing-investigation/news-story/14815d4877c2a8698ca13b0ffa00d745 

Sweden

Swedish agents enticed by criminals

The detective in charge of Sweden's match-fixing investigation believes that criminal networks are using agents to put pressure on players to fix games. The Times of London had revealed on Tuesday that Dickson Etuhu, a football agent and former Nigeria midfielder who played for Manchester City, Sunderland and Fulham during his Premier League career, is at the centre of an inquiry into match-fixing in Sweden's top division, the Allsvenskan. Fredrik Gardare, the detective chief inspector in charge of the Swedish police unit targeting organised crime, said that the money in football was attracting criminals. "Football involves a lot of money and the fees paid to agents have increased and that has attracted individuals whom (Swedish) police are already well familiar with," he said. "The ones that do the match-fixing are separate networks, but they have contact with each other. It's reasonable to think that, if you want to make even more money, if you already have something on a player or a manager, you can make use of that for match-fixing. Etuhu, 35, was interviewed by Swedish police after a Gothenburg v AIK Stockholm match was called off in May following an attempt to make the AIK goalkeeper Kenny Stamatopoulos underperform. Stamatopoulos was both offered a large sum of money to fix the match and threatened. The police investigation is "in its final phase", according to Gardare and prosecutors are expected to announce a decision on any charges within the next four weeks. The Swedish TV programme Kalla Fakta (Cold Facts) has uncovered a network of agents secretly involved in the country's biggest football deals, and Hakan Sjostrand, secretary general of the Swedish Football Association, says that tougher regulations will be brought in next year to control agents in the country.

Source: 12 October 2017, The Times of London

Football

https://www.straitstimes.com/sport/football/swedish-agents-enticed-by-criminals 

 

SENTENCES/SANCTIONS

Australia

Harness racer guilty of match fixing

He was one of the state's best harness racing drivers, but Barton Louis Cockburn is unlikely to race anytime soon after pleading guilty to three match fixing charges. The Crown said Barton's dishonest dabble undermined confidence in the sport, and prison was an option for him. But the Toowoomba man's lawyer claimed a "fine line" separated gamesmanship from match-fixing in the tight knit industry. At Brisbane Magistrates Court on Wednesday, Cockburn, 28, pleaded guilty to three charges. One related to having knowledge of a match-fixing arrangement at a Brisbane race on November 4 last year. He was charged with sharing knowledge of that arrangement with Michael Kevin Grant. The court heard Mr Grant had already faced three charges and was fined $1300. Cockburn also arranged a fix at Albion Park Harness Racing Club in order to benefit from prize money. And he pleaded guilty to arranging another fix at Albion Park last November in order to get prize money to a third man, Dayl Raymond March. One of the charges related to Cockburn allegedly using a phone call to discuss how to affect the outcome of a race with another driver. Cockburn had no prior criminal history. The court heard the St Mary's College graduate from the class of 2006 followed family tradition by going into the sport. By 2012, Cockburn was in the top-three bracket of Queensland drivers for the season, and the leading 15 nationally. Defence lawyer Andrew Hanlon said it was not unusual for competing drivers to discuss tactics before races. "This is precisely the situation in harness racing in Queensland." Mr Hanlon said in many races, there might be two or three horses with a real chance of winning and "the rest of them generally there to quite literally make up the numbers." He said a lifetime of long-term ban from the sport was very likely for his client, who was remorseful and did not deserve jail. The defence lawyer said the money involved was at the "very very low end" and in one of the the fixed races, the driver only received about $350. The charges Cockburn faced carried maximum jail terms of ten years but Cockburn's guilty pleas earned him some credit. He was fined $5000. No conviction was recorded.

Source: 4 October 2017, NewsRegional

https://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/harness-racer-guilty-of-match-fixing/3230839/ 

Esports Integrity Coalition; Sportradar

Match-Fixing Bans Handed to Two Dota 2 Players, Following ESIC Investigation

It seems that match-fixing has reared its ugly head in the world of Dota 2, as the Esports Integrity Coalition, along with Sportradar, have secured two year bans from future Uprise Champions Cup tournaments for Leonid “Sonic” Kuzmenkov and Dmitri “Ax.Mo” Morozov from Team Dx. The Esports Integrity Coalition launched an investigation into the pair following rumours surrounding a match played in the World Cyber Arena European Qualifiers between Team Dx and Yellow Submarine region last month. Sportradar analysed the betting patterns related to the match, and along with the ESIC, determined that dubious circumstances had indeed occurred. In a press release from the company, ESIC Commissioner Ian Smith spoke of the decision: “It is always depressing to see young esports athletes succumb to the temptations that match-fixing presents. But I remain hopeful that this decision will send a powerful deterrent message to esports athletes across the various titles and tournaments – that ESIC are more than happy to follow up questions and concerns around matches, even when those matches do not fall under our existing coverage partnerships.” This is by no means the first case of match-fixing in Dota 2, with 21 players currently indefinitely banned from all Valve events due to match fraud. Additionally, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive experienced a massive match-fixing scandal in 2014 when Team iBUYPOWER was caught throwing a match against Team NetcodeGuides.com, losing 16-4 despite being massive favorites in the match. Dota 2 seems to be plagued by the negative phenomenon more often. A precursory internet search reveals news hits from nearly every year dating back to 2013, so clearly something needs to be done. ESIC and Sportradar are on the right track, but ideally they would be closer to replicating the Early Warning System from FIFA, which detects irregular betting patterns as they occur, in an attempt to expose irregular events before matches take place. A two-year ban from the ESIC is a slightly different approach than Valve, whose “indefinite” status on its bans issued for match-fixing was the catalyst for Richard Lewis’s open letter to Valve, where he lambasted the company for leaving the players in suspense about their competitive future. However, there is no excusing the damage that match-fixing has on competitive integrity, and erring on the side of harsher bans would certainly send a better message than what equates to a moderately painful slap on the wrist.

Source: Patrick Garren, 14 October 2017, Sports Observer

https://esportsobserver.com/match-fixing-bans-dota-esic/ 

Spain

Samuel Ribeiro Navarrete suspended and fined for tennis betting offences

Spanish tennis player Samuel Ribeiro Navarrete has been suspended for eight months and fined US$1,000 after being found guilty of betting-related corruption offences. Four months of the period of ineligibility will be suspended on condition that the player commits no further breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (Program). A Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) investigation found that the player held an online betting account, through which 28 bets were placed on tennis between January 2013 and March 2013. None of the bets related to matches in which he played. The Program explicitly prohibits all players and other "Covered Persons" from betting on any professional tennis match, at anytime, anywhere in the world. The case was considered and penalty imposed by independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer (AHO), Jane Mulcahy QC. Mr Navarrete, 24, has a career-high singles ranking of 723 reached in July 2016. The suspension applies with immediate effect and means that he is excluded from competing in, or attending, any tournament or event organised or sanctioned by the governing bodies of the sport, for the duration of the sanction. The offence for which he has been disciplined falls under Section D.1.a of the Program: D.1.a. No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, wager or attempt to wager on the outcome or any other aspect of any Event or any other tennis competition. The full AHO decision in this case will be published in due course on the TIU website (www.tennisintegrityunit.com). Content may be redacted to maintain the confidentiality of witnesses or events that may be related to ongoing and associated cases. The Tennis Integrity Unit is an initiative of the Grand Slam Board, the International Tennis Federation, the ATP and the WTA, who are jointly committed to a zero tolerance approach to all forms of betting-related corruption in tennis.

Source: 3 October 2017, Tennit Integrity Unit

https://www.tennisintegrityunit.com/media-releases/samuel-ribeiro-navarrete-suspended-betting-tennis 

 

BETTING

World

How bookmakers deal with winning customers

888, an online betting firm, was fined a record £7.8m ($10.3m) in August after more than 7,000 customers who had chosen to ban themselves from their betting accounts were allowed to retain access. Yet away from the regulator’s gaze, bookies often stand accused of the opposite excess: being too prompt to shun winning customers. Successful bettors complain that their accounts get closed down for what are sometimes described as business decisions. Others say their wagers get capped overnight to minuscule amounts. The move may be unpopular with punters, but in most parts of the world it is legal. Operators say scrutinising winners is necessary to help prevent fraud. Competition in the gambling industry increased with the arrival of online betting, prompting bookmakers to offer odds on markets they did not previously cover. In some, such as Eastern European football leagues, low wages and late payments make fertile ground for match-fixing. A winning streak at the windows can signal foul play. Most often, however, efforts to spot savvy customers are not rooted in a desire to thwart dodgy schemes. Rather, they are part of what industry insiders call “risk management”: to remain profitable, bookies seek to cap potential losses. As one betting consultant puts it, “Bookmakers close unprofitable accounts, just as insurance companies will not cover houses that are prone to flooding.” Betting outlets get to know their customers by gleaning information online, tracking web habits and checking whether punters visit odds-comparison sites. Profiling has also been made easier by the tightening of anti-money laundering regulations, which require online punters to provide detailed information when opening accounts. Bookmakers argue that such screening is needed to restrict their involvement with professional gamblers. That in turn allows them to offer better odds to ordinary punters. Critics retort that the net is being cast too widely. Bookies may spend considerable resources trying to spot those who bet for a living, many of whom hire quantitative analysts to estimate outcomes and develop hedging strategies (in some cases seeking to exploit discrepancies between odds offered by several bookmakers to make a guaranteed profit). Online bookmakers respond with sophisticated algorithms that flag customers betting odd amounts of money—£13.04, say—on the basis that ordinary punters usually wager round sums. They take a closer look at those who snub free bets or bonuses, which rarely fit professional bettors’ models and come with terms and conditions attached. They scrutinise user behaviour. While casual punters are more likely to bet minutes before an event begins, pros will often seek the best odds by laying their wager days in advance (because the longer one waits to bet, the more information becomes available about a particular event, and thus the easier it is for bookmakers to price it). And they look at customers’ tendencies to win, sometimes accepting bets at a loss if a punter, seemingly acting on inside knowledge, allows them to gain market intelligence. This explains why professional gamblers rarely do business with high-street bookmakers. They often place their trades on betting exchanges like Betfair or Smarkets, which do not restrict winning customers (though Betfair charges a premium to some of its most successful users). Alternatively they work with those bookmakers who use successful gamblers to improve the efficiency of their betting markets, and make most of their money on commission. These profess not to limit winning accounts and accept much bigger bets (Pinnacle, an influential bookie, often has a $1m limit for major events). Betting professionals also sneak in big trades via brokers, like Gambit Research, a British operation that uses technology to place multiple smaller bets with a range of bookmakers. Asian agents, in particular, have made their names in that trade: many are able to channel sizeable bets to local bookies anonymously. Unlike the sports they love, the games played by professional gamblers and bookmakers are kept out of the spotlight.

Source: M.F., 4 October 2017, The Economist

https://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2017/10/economist-explains-5 

World

Tennis Integrity Unit reveals 65 'match alerts' received in third quarter of 2017 of suspicious betting patterns

The Tennis Integrity Unit received 65 "alerts" about suspicious betting patterns on matches during the third quarter of the year. This is down on the same period last year when 96 alerts from betting regulators and gambling organisations with which the unit has ‘memorandums of understanding’. Four of the alerts related to matches on the ATP World Tour, with one on the WTA circuit. None was from the US Open. The TIU has already confirmed that one of the ATP matches was the Winston-Salem Open clash between Alexandr Dolgopolov and Thiago Monteiro in August when Dolgopolov's odds drifted dramatically before the match. He has denied any wrongdoing. Details of the others are not known. A further 26 alerts were from the ATP Challenger Tour, 24 from men’s ITF Futures events and 10 from the women’s ITF Pro Circuit. With 35,349 professional matches played during the period, 0.18 per cent of matches were the subject of an alert, which is not in itself evidence of match-fixing. For example, unusual betting patterns could be due to a player injury. The cumulative figure for alerts in 2017 is now 148, down from 217 for the same 2016 period. The TIU started publishing such figures last year in a bid to be more transparent following a BBC/Buzzfeed investigation into alleged match-fixing in tennis in January 2016. That investigation led to tennis' governing bodies setting up an independent review panel to look into all aspects of integrity in the sport. It has been due to publish an interim report in the spring but the TIU now says it now expected “before the end of 2017”. No reason for the delay has been given. The TIU also announced on Friday that detailed disciplinary decisions will now be published in full for the first time, although some content will be redacted to protect witnesses or if it is related for ongoing or associated cases.

Source: 6 October 2017, Sporting Life

Tennis

https://www.sportinglife.com/tennis/news/65-%27alerts%27-over-betting-patterns/112648 

 

GOOD PRACTICES

Australia

Queensland Racing Integrity Commission to increase investigators

The Queensland Racing Integrity Commission will hire two more police investigators and increase spending on drug testing. It coincides with QRIC's first prosecution under new match-fixing laws listed to go ahead in the Brisbane Magistrate's Court on Wednesday. QRIC Commissioner Ross Barnett released the commission's first annual report this week and pinpointed the first race-fixing charges in the harness code under the match-fixing laws. "The arrest of three people in our first year for systemic race fixing in the harness industry demonstrates both the need for the laws and the Commission's determination to ensure they're enforced," Barnett said. "Furthermore, our partnership with the Queensland Police Service through the Racing Crime Squad resulted in 40 charges being laid against a total of 22 offenders." Barnett said the Racing Crime Squad would expand from four to six members and the commission would also increase the use of body cameras. "QRIC will invest more than $7.75 million over four years to support the Racing Science Centre's Capital Acquisition Strategic Plan," he said. "This will see new advanced technology acquired to enable both an increase in samples collected for testing and enhanced scope of testing." Barnett added it was important to remember the vast majority of licensees across the three codes were law-abiding responsible industry participants. He said 99.6 per cent of the 19,000-plus swabs analysed by the QRIC's Racing Science Centre returned negative results.

Source: Mark Oberhardt, 4 October 2017, Brisbane Times

https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/sport/racing/queensland-racing-integrity-commission-to-increase-investigators-20171004-p4yw9g.html 

Germany

German Ice Hockey League unveils new approach to combat match fixing

This season, the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) will debut a radical new approach to eliminating match fixing and manipulation. The approach will involve the implementation of a brand new set of regulations related to match manipulation, a partnership with anti-match fixing experts Sportradar to cover the detection and investigation of suspicious betting behaviour worldwide, and a partnership with German sports law specialists SportsLawyers to independently drive any resulting prosecutions. The new regulations, developed by German sports law scientist Professor Martin Nolte and Dr. Anja Martin of SportsLawyers, aim to protect the integrity of the league and its matches. They cover all persons and officials who are involved in the match operations of the DEL. This includes professional players, but also coaches, referees, medical staff as well as player agents. The regulations will focus in on betting and the trading of insider information, whether knowingly or unknowingly. Gernot Tripcke, Managing Director of DEL said: “We think that it makes sense for the DEL to safeguard the independence of the steps in the process, starting with the regulations adopted, through the monitoring, detection and investigation, right on through to any resulting prosecutions before the German Court of Arbitration for Sports.We genuinely feel that our cooperation with SportsLawyers and Sportradar could become a template for other German professional sports to follow. So far there have not been any concerns around the DEL or German ice hockey more generally. But we cannot be complacent. Betting interest in our matches is growing and so the potential risk of match-fixing cannot be ignored. We are confident that being proactive and setting up this process puts us in a strong position to prevent and deter integrity attacks.” Dr Anja Martin of SportsLawyer added: “We have spent a number of years advising national and international federations around a range of integrity issues and in recent years, we have seen some really encouraging steps as different stakeholders: state, sport, law enforcement and betting-related have started to assign resources and expertise to this particular threat. “The Council of Europe’s Convention in this area is another significant step in the right direction and Germany has signed up to it and has already introduced a criminal law against sporting fraud. There is momentum and I am excited that we can play a role in what looks like a new structure or process that could serve as an example for sports in other countries as well as right here in Germany.

Source: 6 October 2017, SBC News

https://sbcnews.co.uk/latestnews/2017/10/06/german-ice-hockey-league-unveils-new-approach-combat-match-fixing/ 

 

Nepal

AFC recognises Nepal police for assistance to combat match fixing

The Metropolitan Crime Division of the Nepal Police was officially recognised today by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) for its crucial help in match-fixing investigations in the country. AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John received Sarbendra Khanal and Sudip Raj Pathak of the Nepal Police at the AFC House today in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to formally acknowledge the Nepal Police’s comprehensive support. On December 4, 2015, the AFC Disciplinary and Ethics Committee banned four Nepali players and one official for life for match-fixing offences. Official Anjan K.C. and the four players, Bikash Singh Chhetri, Sandip Rai, Ritesh Thapa and Sagar Thapa, were found guilty of violating the AFC Disciplinary and Ethics Code. The life bans followed a year-long investigation coordinated between the AFC and its partner Sportradar, as well as the Metropolitan Crime Division of the Nepal Police and the UEFA Integrity Unit. Deputy Inspector General Sarbendra Khanal, who was previously the Senior Superintendent of Police at the Metropolitan Crime Division, led the investigation into the cases. The investigating officer was Deputy Superintendent of Nepal Police Sudip Raj Pathak, at the time the Inspector of Police. AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John said: “It is an honour to welcome Deputy Inspector General Sarbendra Khanal and Deputy Superintendent of Nepal Police Sudip Raj Pathak to the AFC House. They were instrumental in the investigation of the important match-fixing cases in Nepal in 2015." “I am also extremely pleased to hear that the Government of Nepal has now criminalised match-fixing in sport, based on the 2015 case. This is a very positive step in the fight against the menace of match manipulation and I hope other countries will follow this example.” The successful collaboration between the AFC Integrity Unit and the Nepal Metropolitan Crime Division was a milestone in the fight against match-fixing. It reaffirmed that effective action against match-fixing requires governmental action and cooperation between sports governing bodies, especially in the field of criminal law. The focus on criminal justice is based on the fact that competition manipulation is not only a breach of sporting rules but also an offence to public order. Match-fixing destroys the core social, cultural and educational values of sport as well as undermines its economic role. The AFC reaffirms its zero tolerance towards and commitment to fighting match-fixing by sanctioning anyone found guilty of it. The AFC looks forward to continued collaboration with Nepal Police.

Source: 13 October 2017, Law in Sport

https://www.lawinsport.com/sports-law-news/item/afc-recognises-nepal-police-for-assistance-to-combat-match-fixing 

World

Women’s cricket ‘likely to be a target’ for corruption, insiders fear

Senior figures in world cricket have warned of the growing threat of corruption within the “vulnerable” women’s game, with an explosion in interest making it more attractive to fixers. The warnings come in the wake of a successful World Cup and as England prepare in Australia for the Women’s Ashes, which begins on 22 October. Tony Irish, the chief executive of international cricket’s players’ association, warned that the women’s game is particularly at risk. “Women’s cricket is receiving more attention and is more and more on TV so it is likely to be targeted,” Irish said, expressing concern about how the quality of anti-corruption measures differs between nations. “As with the men’s game there are very different standards of anti-corruption education received by women across the world.” In July, the Women’s World Cup final at Lord’s had £78m traded on it on Betfair – 8.5 times more than the 2013 final. More than 150 different operators worldwide offered betting markets for the tournament, according to sports data company Sportradar. So far in 2017, the sums bets on women’s cricket with Ladbrokes are 43% greater than in all of 2016, with the Ashes still to come. Industry insiders have highlighted how the extra liquidity in betting markets for women’s cricket is creating potential opportunities for corruptors. Irish called on the International Cricket Council to do more to safeguard the integrity of the sport for both genders. “There is no global education programme for players, either men or women, and not much appetite from the ICC to introduce one. That’s a huge concern for us, especially with more and more men and women moving around the world playing in different domestic competitions.” The ICC’s anti-corruption unit is in charge of monitoring international cricket across both genders, and was an active presence at the Women’s World Cup. But national anti-corruption units are in charge of monitoring domestic matches, as well as providing education to players who have yet to play for their national teams. It is felt that the attention different nations pay to these requirements, in both men’s and women’s cricket, still varies considerably. Alex Marshall, general manager of the ICC’s anti-corruption unit, said that the governing body was aware that the growing interest in women’s cricket has increased the risk of corruption. “We need to be alert to the fact that individuals, matches or tournaments may be seen as corruptible and continue to work with members to educate, prevent and where necessary disrupt and prosecute any criminal behaviour.” Authorities have not yet uncovered any evidence of international women cricketers being approached. But the ICC believes that a greater emphasis on policing the sport is necessary to keep the women’s game free from the corruption scandals that continue to blight men’s cricket. The anti-corruption unit’s international education programme is currently being revised. The new programme will emphasise education specifically tailored for men and women, as well as people of different cultures, languages and ages. Some international women cricketers have previously noted that their anti-corruption training was clearly imported wholesale from the men’s game, showing a lack of awareness of different circumstances – such as pay and incentives. Clare Connor, the director of England Women’s Cricket, admitted that the sport’s growth has brought new fears about corruption. “The women’s game, with more televised games than ever before and with the vast majority of players not yet earning significant sums of money, is likely to be a target for match-fixers,” she said. Beyond Australia, England and, after their progress to the World Cup final, India, many international players from other major cricket nations are lowly paid, often supplementing their cricket incomes with other jobs. High-profile matches involving players who earn relatively small amounts are regarded as prime target for fixers. “Education and raising awareness are clearly key to guarding against it: ensuring players are clued up, switched on, aware of the dangers,” Connor added. In England, all men and women playing domestic cricket must complete the Professional Cricketers’ Association’s anti-corruption online module before they can be registered to play. Before next season, the PCA will roll out a new module for all male and female players in the professional game in England and Wales. In Australia, the board noted a significant increase in the popularity of the Women’s Big Bash with regulated betting operators last season. For the new season, across domestic and international matches in both genders, Cricket Australia has introduced a new mobile app for players and officials, which includes anti-corruption education and a new way for players to report any suspected approaches. ECB consider Middlesex appeal over points deductions. The England and Wales Cricket Board is considering an appeal by Middlesex over the points deduction which contributed to their relegation. Middlesex were docked two points for a slow over-rate during their County Championship Division One match against Surrey in August - a match which was abandoned when a crossbow bolt was fired into The Oval. Middlesex were subsequently relegated by one point after losing their final match of the season to Somerset, who maintained their Division One status as a result of the victory on 28 September. The 2016 county champions have now lodged an appeal against the punishment, which was imposed on 9 September. At the time the Middlesex chief executive, Richard Goatley, said there was “no scope” for an appeal, but that position has evidently changed. An ECB spokesman told Press Association Sport: “Middlesex have appealed against the two-point penalty imposed for a slow-over rate during the match against Surrey. “That appeal has been referred to the chairman of the cricket discipline commission, who is considering a response.

Source: Tim Wigmore, 11 October 2017, The Guardian

Cricket

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/11/womens-cricket-likely-target-corruption?CMP=share_btn_tw 

 

ODDS AND ENDS

Colombia

Falcao sparks match-fixing allegations after Peru star reveals what Colombia striker said to him

Radamel Falcao’s conduct during Colombia’s World Cup qualifying match with Peru has come into question after Renato Tapia revealed what the striker said to him. The two South American nations played out a 1-1 draw during Wednesday’s final qualifier in Lima. The result ensured Colombia finished fourth and qualified for next year’s World Cup in Russia. Peru finished fifth, edging out Chile on goal difference, and now face New Zealand in a two-legged play-off. However, Falcao’s actions during the final stages of the game have come under the spotlight after it was suggested the Peru players stopped exerting themselves as fiercely under instruction from the Monaco forward. The 31-year-old could be seen talking to a number of Peru’s players, apparently explaining that a draw suited both nations. And now to stoke the fire, Peru midfielder Renato Tapia admitted his team-mates did discuss the outcome of the match with their opponents. "We were focussed on the game and then in the final five minutes the Colombians approached us," he told Panamericana Television. "They knew the situations from the other grounds. The game was managed as it had to be managed. "I spoke with Falcao and he said to me that we were both in, so there was happiness about that."

Source: 13 October 2017, Eurosport UK

Football

https://www.eurosport.com/football/world-cup/2018/falcao-sparks-match-fixing-allegations-after-peru-star-reveals-what-colombia-striker-said-to-him_sto6364868/story.shtml 

Peru

Falcao sparks match-fixing allegations after Peru star reveals what Colombia striker said to him

Radamel Falcao’s conduct during Colombia’s World Cup qualifying match with Peru has come into question after Renato Tapia revealed what the striker said to him. The two South American nations played out a 1-1 draw during Wednesday’s final qualifier in Lima. The result ensured Colombia finished fourth and qualified for next year’s World Cup in Russia. Peru finished fifth, edging out Chile on goal difference, and now face New Zealand in a two-legged play-off. However, Falcao’s actions during the final stages of the game have come under the spotlight after it was suggested the Peru players stopped exerting themselves as fiercely under instruction from the Monaco forward. The 31-year-old could be seen talking to a number of Peru’s players, apparently explaining that a draw suited both nations. And now to stoke the fire, Peru midfielder Renato Tapia admitted his team-mates did discuss the outcome of the match with their opponents. "We were focussed on the game and then in the final five minutes the Colombians approached us," he told Panamericana Television. "They knew the situations from the other grounds. The game was managed as it had to be managed. "I spoke with Falcao and he said to me that we were both in, so there was happiness about that."

Source: 13 October 2017, Eurosport UK

Football

https://www.eurosport.com/football/world-cup/2018/falcao-sparks-match-fixing-allegations-after-peru-star-reveals-what-colombia-striker-said-to-him_sto6364868/story.shtml 

World

Tennis faces battle to end match-fixing, says British player Oli Golding

British player Oli Golding says the International Tennis Federation faces a battle to end match-fixing. The 24-year-old London player is currently ranked 716th in the world and says the issue for tennis authorities is the betting on low-ranking matches which are poorly attended but which bookmakers still accept bets on. He was offered the opportunity to throw a match by Alexandros Jakupovic, a Greek player who was banned for life in 2015. Golding reported the approach to the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU), but says his anonymity was blown and he questioned whether he should have taken part in the lengthy process which resulted in Jakupovic's ban. Golding told ITV News: "There is a problem in tennis and it does need to be stamped out, so I'm sure I did do the right thing, but it is a tough process to go through. "I've never been questioned by lawyers in my life, I almost felt a little bit guilty for reporting him. "The real problem the ITF face is that a lot of these matches are played in front of one man and his dog, you've got the umpire there who is maybe umpiring five or six matches in a day and is probably not paying that close attention to the match and with the prize money at the level that it is, the reward is always going to outweigh the risk." The Sport Betting Integrity Unit is wary of the rise of 'in-play' tennis betting and suspicions which have arisen from the activity in the market. An independent review panel has been tasked with assessing the systems in place that protect tennis' integrity.

Source: PA Sport, 11 October 2017, Eurosport

Tennis

https://www.eurosport.com/tennis/tennis-faces-battle-to-end-match-fixing-says-british-player-oli-golding_sto6363308/story.shtml 

 

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