This week we give the floor to Kevin Carpenter, Principal & Consultant of Captivate Legal & Sports Solutions as he discusses how to best tackle match-fixing.
For the last two weeks of June, there have been a variety of issues ranging from match-fixing allegations in Ghana and Uganda to doping arrests made in Spain. Additionally, a anti-doping testing lab in Rio has been suspended by the World Anti-doping Agency last week.
THE FLOOR TO...
Kevin Carpenter, Principal & Consultant, Captivate Legal & Sports Solutions
At the end of my first major paper on the topic of match-fixing (aka. competition manipulation) five years ago I concluded as follows, “The perception of a problem of match fixing can be as serious a threat as the actual problem itself, so both are important to tackle…The increasing presence of criminals across the sporting spectrum should be a concern for all stakeholders and provide additional impetus to the continuing need for concerted action on a global scale.” So five years on where are we? Since I established my own consultancy business almost one year ago, in my specialist fields of sports integrity and governance, I have been privileged to have, and continue to, work with INTERPOL, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Council of Europe (CoE), the Keep Crime Out of Sport project (KCOOS), the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and other international and national sports organisations on what I continue to firmly believe is the greatest threat to sport today.
Working alongside this breadth and diversity of stakeholders who are implementing policies and strategies to combat the multi-faceted threat of match-fixing has provided me with a unique insight as to the progress that has and is being made, and the significant challenges which now face what has become an “anti-match-fixing industry”.
First, I have for some time been concerned about a duplication of efforts and resources, despite most interested parties in the “industry” acting with good intentions. Positively however, it now seems that the different actors I mention above are beginning to differentiate their efforts and target specific groups and actions. For example, the UNODC will later this year publish a Resource Guide on Good Practices in the Investigation of Match-Fixing aimed principally at law enforcement, whilst in a joint-project the INTERPOL-IOC have just launched their Handbook on Conducting Fact-Finding Inquiries into Breaches of Sports Integrity, with accompanying training, aimed at investigators working within sports organisations. However, we need to have a more nuanced approach as to how we view and categorise public and private bodies. In particular, due to the differences in national cultures and legal systems (i.e. common and civil law) law enforcement should be broken down into police, prosecutors and judges. Education and awareness raising has of course been a prominent strategy for many stakeholders in the past 5 years. Yet, one group that I believe we have failed to engage properly to care and take action regarding match-fixing are the general public, in particular sports supporters. The key question to be addressed is: how to “sell” match-fixing to those people? Finally, the single largest conundrum that needs solving in this field, in my opinion, is the efficient, effective and secure exchange of information globally between public entities (governments, law enforcement, prosecutors, judges and betting regulators) and private bodies (sports organisations and betting operators). Solutions to this can only be achieved by interested stakeholders cooperating and thinking globally. Although there will always be people who want to corrupt one of the most important sectors in society, after the past year I am far more optimistic that the key stakeholders are starting to turn the tide against fixers, at the local, national and international levels, due to greater proactivity and coordination.
MATCH-fixing is happening in Australia and we need to call in Interpol to stop organised gangs infiltrating our sports. This chilling warning and dramatic offer comes from Interpol’s head of Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes unit James Anderson. Interpol recently arrested 48 people after Operation Aces, a taskforce into illegal online gambling in the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Korea. Mr Anderson offered to set up a similar taskforce to attack match-fixing in Australia. “If Australians are being adversely affected by offshore gambling, that’s where we have to step in and get the appropriate countries and officials in these countries to talk about the issues,” Mr Anderson said. “If Australia is serious about addressing this ... we stand ready and we have intel to help our member countries.” "He said Interpol was aware of NSW Police’s Organised Crime Squad’s investigations into match-fixing in the NRL. “We suspect match-fixing (has occurred) in Australia,” Mr Anderson said. “We have seen ... that people are now talking about match-fixing and the authorities are realising: ‘Wow, we might look at this’. This is potentially big. Very big." “Match-fixing is always a concern when you’re talking about a large amount of money to be made and you have to think: ‘Who is co-ordinating that? Who is making the money and where is it coming from?’ It concerns us.”
Mr Anderson pointed to offshore gambling and the increasing power of Asian organised crime as growing concerns for Australia. “Organised crime units are trying to use coercion because there is lots of money there,” Mr Anderson said. “They seem to love the offshore gambling sites and these types of offshore gambling sites provide a mechanism for criminal elements to launder their illicit funds, which is why Interpol is working with our member countries in the region in targeted enforcement operations.” Australia is one of 75 countries signed up to Interpol’s match-fixing task force. Mr Anderson said conversations with Australian authorities in relation to match-fixing had increased in the past six months.
Source: "Match-fixing prompts INTERPOL to take action against gangs", 18 June 2016, The Sunday Telegraph, https://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/nrl/matchfixing-prompts-interpol-to-take-action-against-gangs/news-story/1203338dae2bf4ae002155da7b84ee09
The Ghana Football Association has revealed its readiness to engage ace investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas to help scrutinise some reported match-fixing allegations in Ghana Football. There have been allegations about match-fixing scandals under Nyantakyi’s administration. Nyantakyi was recently reported to have revealed he had evidence of some match-fixing scandals in the Ghana Premier League. This has raised calls for the Ghana Football Association to be thoroughly investigated in its dealings. In an interview with Atinka FM, spokespersons of the Ghana Football Association Ibrahim Sannie Darra insist his outfit are planning to engage the renowned journalist in investigating any dealings in Ghana football concerning match-fixing. “We are planning to engage Anas to investigate our football in other to bring evidence of any match-fixing scandal,” he said. “There have been issues of match-fixing in Ghana Football so this time around we want to call Anas to get involve so we know the truth behind all this." “We want to ensure and make it clear that the Ghana Football Association does not involve itself in such act so we are calling on Anas to come on board." “And I can assure you that whoever is caught will be dealt with.” Anas months ago was reported to have hinted on an evidence of corruption in Ghana football.
Source: "GFA to engage Anas to investigate match-fixing scandal", 14 June 2016, Ghana Web, https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/SportsArchive/GFA-to-engage-Anas-to-investigate-match-fixing-scandals-447613
An unnamed whistle blower has alerted Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) as regards the outcome of the Express and Soana 'international friendly' match played on 6th June 2016 at Mutesa II stadium, Wankulukuku. FUFA published on their official website; FUFA has received information from a whistle blower that the final result of an ‘international friendly match’ between Express FC and Soana FC had been pre-determined The result from the said match ended 3-2 in favor of Express FC. Davis Ssali gave Soana the lead in the first half.
Ibra Lubinga leveled the matters for Wasswa Bbosa's Express four minutes to the break as the opening stanza ended one goal apiece. Simon Sserunkuma put the Red Eagles ahead four minutes onto restart before Vincent Kayizzi doubled the advantage in the hour mark. Defender Isma Kawawulo scored the second goal for the visitors in the 84th minute to create a tense and thrilling climax to the fixture played at 3 p.m. For the seriousness of the matter, the matter has been forwarded to the FUFA Committee for Match Organisation headed by Muzafaru Zirabamuzale with the other members as Walusimbi Wooto and Counsel James Muwawu. They are expected to convene this coming Monday 20th June, 2016 to deliberate the way forward.
Source: "Match fixing cited in Express Vs Soana 'international friendly' fixture", 17 June 2016, Kawowo Sports, https://www.kawowo.com/index.php/football/item/27033-match-fixing-cited-in-express-vs-soana-international-friendly-fixture.html
SAO PAULO, June 24 - The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has suspended the credentials of a testing laboratory in Rio de Janeiro that didn’t conform with international standards, just over a month before the city hosts the Olympic Games. The decision, announced on Friday, adds to concerns about Rio‘s readiness to host the global sporting event in August as public services suffer amid a crisis in state finances. “The suspension will only be lifted by WADA when the laboratory is operating optimally,” Olivier Niggli, the incoming director general of the agency, said in a statement, without providing details about the problems at the lab. “The best solution will be put in place to ensure that sample analysis for the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games is robust,” the statement said.
Doping is high on the agenda ahead of the Rio Games, the first Olympics to be held in South America, after the Russian team was suspended from athletics events there because of doping allegations in track and field. The Rio lab’s six-month provisional suspension is subject to an appeal during a 21-day window that started on Wednesday, when WADA first informed the laboratory of its decision. Samples intended for analysis at the premises will be redirected to another WADA-accredited laboratory, the agency said, without saying where. The laboratory at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro declined to comment immediately on the decision. WADA representatives did not immediately respond to questions about irregularities at the Rio lab or the location of the nearest alternative.
Source: Tatiana Ramil, "The World Anti-Doping Agency Just Shut Down Rio’s Olympic Testing Lab", 24 June 2016, Huffington Post, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/wada-laboratory-rio_us_576d77f0e4b017b379f5dafb
MADRID, June 21 (Reuters) - Spanish police detained a third person over an alleged athletics doping ring on Tuesday, a day after the arrest of the coach of Ethiopia's 1,500-metre world record holder, Genzebe Dibaba. A police spokesman confirmed the arrest but declined to name the person or give their nationality. On Monday, the global athletics body IAAF said that both Dibaba's coach, Jama Aden, and a Moroccan physiotherapist were in police custody on suspicion of administering illegal substances to athletes. IAAF officials have also carried out doping tests on 27 international athletes training in the city of Sabadell, 20 km north of Barcelona, where the three were arrested, police said.
Dibaba, 25, the sister of triple Olympic distance champion Tirunesh Dibaba and Olympic silver medallist Ejegayehu Dibaba, is the favourite to win the 1,500 metre event at the Olympic Games in Brazil in August.
Russia's team has been suspended from the athletics events in Rio because of doping allegations in track and field. World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) chiefs said on Monday they would call for "serious" action against Russia before the Rio Games if a new investigation next month shows evidence of widespread state-sponsored doping.
Source: Angus Berwick, "Spanish police arrest third person linked to sports doping ring", 21 June 2016, Reuters, https://sports.yahoo.com/news/spanish-police-arrest-third-person-linked-sports-doping-143524832--spt.html
Kenyan athletes can now comfortably compete in the Rio Olympics in August, following the approval of the country’s amended anti-doping laws, by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The East African nation was recently bombarded by doping allegations, suggesting that there were up to 40 cases reported in the past four years. The country’s minister of sports, Hassan Wario, said that the only remaining step is for the president to assent the bill and thereafter the country will be in full compliance with the WADA code. This new development is a big step for Kenya whose athletes are famed for their long distance running prowess. Earlier this month, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said that its extra testing programme would apply to Russia, whose ban was upheld by the IAAF, Mexico and Kenya.
Source: "Kenya's amended anti-doping laws approved by WADA", 18 June 2016, Africa News, https://www.africanews.com/2016/06/18/kenya-s-amended-anti-doping-laws-approved-by-wada/
ODDS AND ENDS
International Olympic Committe
The two-day event, which took place from 13 to 14 June in Lausanne, Switzerland, addressed the need for an effective, coordinated response from the sports world to the threat of match-fixing and related corruption. The training was presented in the context of an unfolding scenario, which begins with an allegation of manipulation of a competition. During the exercise, participants learnt how to: conduct fact-finding inquiries into suspicions or allegations of competition manipulation; establish the facts of the allegation or suspicion; and report the findings to a disciplinary panel. Elements discussed included the regulatory basis for fact-finding inquiries; inquiry planning; information gathering and sharing; risk management; interviewing methods; stakeholder collaboration and coordination; and cooperation between sports disciplinary and criminal investigatory proceedings. Commenting on the training, the IOC’s Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, Pâquerette Girard-Zappelli, said: “International Federations have an important role to play in protecting the integrity of their respective sports. They oversee major events and have valuable intelligence when it comes to technical aspects as well as performance levels. It is important to build expertise within IFs on competition manipulation, which really is a complex matter. Such training opportunities are therefore invaluable and we are thankful for our constructive collaboration with INTERPOL in this regard.”
This week’s training was a good opportunity to introduce the participants to the INTERPOL-IOC Handbook on Conducting Fact-Finding Inquiries into Breaches of Sports Integrity. The Handbook will be an important reference document for experts in National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and IFs as it will help to make complex, challenging inquiries more manageable, transparent and accountable. The IOC also took presented strategies and tools available to prevent and investigate allegations or suspicions of competition manipulation, such as the recently published Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions. A new mechanism for reporting potential cases of competition manipulation as well as other violations of the integrity of sport – the Integrity and Compliance Hotline – was also successfully launched by the IOC last year. 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. All Summer and Winter Olympic IFs have signed up to IBIS.
Source: "IOC and INTERPOL train IFs in fact-finding to protect sport’s integrity", 15 June 2016, International Olympic Committe, https://www.olympic.org/news/ioc-and-interpol-train-ifs-in-fact-finding-to-protect-sport-s-integrity