FPX Bo Suspended for Match-Fixing
With the Lunar New Year over, the LPL and LCK are getting back in the swing of things. Unfortunately for FPX, they got some very bad news regarding their jungle situation as they returned to play. Meanwhile, we saw another Fnatic curse, the debut of a CLG star, and heard about the impending retirement of DAMWON KIA’s top laner. We take a look at the top news and storylines across the LEC, LCS, LPL, and LCK.
FPX have announced the indefinite suspension of rookie jungler Zhou “Bo” Yang-Bo for previous participation in match-fixing. Rumors had circulated that Bo was previously involved in match-fixing, and Bo came forward to admit that he had been coerced into what FPX called inappropriate competitive behavior. It’s also important to note that this allegedly happened in 2020 in the LDL. There are no allegations that Bo participated in any match-fixing while playing with FPX in the LPL.
This comes as a huge blow to FPX as Bo became an important part of the starting lineup. FPX promoted Bo when Gao “Tian” Tian-Liang decided to take a break to focus on his mental and physical health. Already struggling with wrist issues, Tian revealed that he was struggling with the pressure to perform and reached a breaking point. Bo took over and FPX won 10 consecutive games with the new jungler.
Ready or not, Bo’s suspension has forced Tian back into the starting lineup. Playing against the 5-3 Team WE, FPX lost 0-2 in Tian’s first game back. Tian finished 2/4/2 on Olaf and 0/4/7 on Lillia in the two games. FPX likely weren’t practicing with Tian until news of the alleged match-fixing reached them. We will see if FPX considers promoting their current LDL jungler Yang “Beichuan” Ling to the main squad.
Because of the history of match-fixing in China, it seems unlikely that Bo will be back anytime soon. The last player the LPL banned for match-fixing was Rogue Warriors jungler Wang “Weiyan” Xiang. Weiyan received a two-year ban from competitive play. However, Weiyan’s situation is slightly different because he participated in match-fixing in the LPL, not the LDL. Whether that differentiation matters remains to be seen.
Regardless of the result, it’s a terrible situation all around. FPX lose a great rookie jungler, Tian is forced to come back from his break early, China has to deal with another instance of match-fixing, and a promising talent could be lost forever.
Source: 23 February 2021, Hotspawn eSports
Pakistan cricketer Akmal's ban slashed
The Court of Arbitration for Sports has reduced the ban on international cricketer Umar Akmal to 12 months and fined him
$US27,000 for breaching the Pakistan Cricket Board's anti-corruption code.
Akmal was suspended in February 2020 for failing to report details of corrupt approaches made to him just before the start of the fifth Pakistan Super League.
The PCB's disciplinary panel last April found Akmal guilty on two charges of separate breaches and handed him a three-year suspension - with the periods of ineligibility to run concurrently.
That ban was halved after Akmal appealed to an independent adjudicator, before both Akmal and the PCB took the matter to the CAS.
The PCB on Friday said the 30-year-old Akmal is now eligible to reintegrate into competitive cricket, subject to paying the fine, and also has to go through the rehabilitation program under the cricket board's anti-corruption code.
Akmal has represented Pakistan in more than 200 international cricket matches, including 16 Tests.
"The PCB once again urges and reminds all participants to abide by their duty and promptly report any approaches to the anti- corruption officers and help themselves as well as the anti-corruption unit's effort to eliminate the anathema of fixing," the PCB said in the statement.
Source: 26 February 2021, The West Australian Cricket
‘Famous’ bookie arrested
KARACHI: Police’s Special Investigation Unit (SIU) on Thursday claimed to have arrested a “famous” bookie/gambler over charges of match fixing for ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL), SSP SIU retired Capt Haider Raza said.
The senior officer added that the arrest was the outcome of a recent meeting between law enforcement agencies and officials of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to curb such practice during ongoing matches of PSL being held at National Stadium Karachi.
According to the SIU statement, in continuation of action against match fixers/bookies and gamblers in follow-up of a meeting held on Feb 18 between PCB officials and members of law enforcement, the SIU received confidential information that a person was gambling on ongoing PSL-6 cricket matches and was present in an under-construction building in Bahadurabad.
On the tip-off, SIU immediately responded and arrested Mubeen alias Dhoraji with recovery of gambling articles and 1,050 grammes narcotics.
The held suspect disclosed that his father Arif Ismail alias Dhoraji was a “famous bookie of Karachi” and due to health issues of his father, he is running the setup since the last one year.
Not only was he himself gambling on PSL matches but he was also running a network of bookies.
He also told the police that there were several members of his network who connect bookies from Karachi, Lahore and other cities through mobile phone with him.
The police claimed to have recovered four mobile phones, a laptop, an adaptor and a keyboard from his custody.
Source: 26 February 2021, Dawn Cricket
5 arrested, accused of running an illegal gambling den in Baton Rouge, police say
Five men were arrested on Monday for running an illegal gambling den in Baton Rouge, according to the Louisiana State Police.
Wayne “Uber Wayne” Neyland, 43, Jack Hardesty, 38, John Brewster, 41, Ryan Westmoreland, 33, and Darren Ortego, 31, were arrested for allegedly running an illegal gambling den based at the 5th Street Social Club on George O’Neal Road, LSP said.
The bust was part of an investigation by the Louisiana State Police Gaming Enforcement Division, which is in charge of enforcing criminal gambling laws.
Gambling is illegal in Louisiana, with exceptions for international cruise ships and legal gambling regulated the Louisiana Gaming Control Board. Sports betting is also allowed in many parishes after a recent amendment was passed in November.
Source: 25 February 2021, The Advocate All Sports
Tennessee investigates illegal betting activity during Super Bowl LV
Tennessee legalized sports wagering late last year. It’s biggest event to date has triggered one of the biggest controversies to emerge since the Supreme Court opened the nationwide betting floodgates nearly three years ago.
According to TNBets.com, via David Purdum of ESPN.com, Tennessee authorities recently announced that two of the state’s four official sportsbooks experienced “illegal” betting activity during Super Bowl LV. The situation, which remains under investigation, triggered the permanent closure of 74 betting accounts.
The four currently regulated sportsbooks in Tennessee are BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Action 246. Only BetMGM said that it’s not under investigation, according to Purdum. DraftKings and FanDuel declined comment. Action 247 referred all questions to the Tennessee Lottery.
The NFL, according to Purdum, said that it “appreciates the oversight of the Lottery to help promote the integrity of sports betting markets.” The Tennessee Lottery admits, however, that the situation “did not involve any event or game integrity- related matters.”
Still, no information has been provided regarding the reasons for the suspicious activity. Tennessee did not approve betting on non-football props, like the color of the Gatorade dumped on the winning coach. Per Purdum, the investigation currently involves potential violations of state and federal law.
Source: 23 February 2021, NBC Sport American Football
WADA INVESTIGATORS STRENGTHEN COOPERATION WITH EUROPOL
Montreal, 18 February 2021 – The World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA’s) growing reputation for successful collaboration with law enforcement agencies was further enhanced today with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement (Europol), which formally establishes and facilitates a mutual framework for cooperation between the two agencies in the area of sports doping.
With intelligence and investigations increasingly becoming key tools in the protection of clean sport around the world, this MOU will enhance the cooperative relationship between WADA’s independent Intelligence and Investigations Department and Europol with the aim of combatting the illegal production and distribution of doping substances within the European Union. Activities will include the exchange of intelligence and practical support, as well as coordination on evidence-gathering and investigations of mutual concern. The MOU is similar to that which has been in place between WADA and INTERPOL since 2009. WADA President Witold Baka, who signed the MOU on behalf of WADA, said: “Intelligence and investigations has been an area in which WADA has made great progress since gaining the authority to conduct investigations under the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code. As demonstrated by recent high-profile cases, such as those involving the International Biathlon Union, Operation Aderlass, the International Weightlifting Federation and the Europol-coordinated Operation VIRIBUS, the sharing of information between law enforcement agencies and anti-doping organizations can be crucial in exposing wrong-doing that would not have been detected through testing or other analytical methods.
“Law enforcement and other government agencies possess the power to attack the source and supply of illegal substances, which sport does not have, as well as the power to search and detain those suspected of crimes. Equally, WADA receives information and develops expertise that can be useful to the police in their criminal investigations. Through partnerships such as this one, we are ensuring that cooperation between these two groups continues to strengthen for the good of clean sport. WADA is very grateful to the European Union for its ongoing enthusiasm and willingness to join forces with WADA in this way.”
Signing on behalf of Europol, its Executive Director, Catherine De Bolle, said: "To scale up the global fight against the production and trafficking of doping substances and its use to corrupt fair sports competitions, Europol is strengthening its cooperation with the major player in the fight against doping in sports worldwide. The new agreement will focus on exchanging knowledge and expertise, capacity building, and further collaboration between Europol and the World Anti-Doping Agency."
This MOU is the latest in a series of bilateral collaborative exercises between WADA and other agencies with the objective of maintaining a level playing field for athletes. Last year, WADA signed an MOU with the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), which broadened the scope of information shared about marketed products as well as biomedical products still in the early stages of research and development, with the aim of quickly implementing detection methods for new performance-enhancing substances.
In recent years, WADA has signed other MOUs and partnership agreements with organizations working towards a range of complementary objectives, including in education, scientific research, medicine, the support of whistleblowers, the fight against international drug trafficking, capacity building and regional development, in particular.
Source: 18 February 2021, WADA All Sports
Erasmus+ co-financed POINTS Project
POINTS Project released a “Booklet on POINTS project tools for sport organisations”
With the aim of guaranteeing the large use of the developed-tools and the sustainability of the project activities, the Erasmus+ co-financed POINTS Project has produced a “Booklet on POINTS project tools for sport organisations”. This Booklet gathered all relevant information on the two mains outcomes of the POINTS Project, to encourage other European and national organisations to strengthen their integrity policies and strategies by using the following tools:
1- The Guidelines for Single Points of Contact for Integrity in Sport;
2- SIGGS 2.0 Self-evaluation tool for Good Governance in Sport organisation.
After a general introduction on the POINTS project, the Booklet presents the key elements of the Guidelines for Single Points of Contact for Integrity in Sport, developed by the project consortium. Four main areas are covered in the document:
What is a Single Point of Contact for Integrity in Sport? Why should my organisation nominate a SPOC?
What are the responsibilities of a SPOC? How can my organisation set up a SPOC?
The second part of the document is focusing on the SIGGS 2.0 self-assessment tool on Good Governance in Sport, freely available for all sport organisations following this link https://siggsapp.novagov.com/.
The Booklet describes the following elements:
Why is Good Governance important for sport organisations?
What is the SIGGS self-evaluation doing for improving governance of sport organisations? Why should my organisation use this tool?
How can my organisation use this tool?
The Booklet – and the Guidelines – are available for all sport organisations – NOCs, sport confederations, European federations and national federations – on the website of the POINTS project.
As a reminder, the POINTS project started in January 2018 and will end in June 2021. The consortium is composed of the EOC EU Office (project leader) and 17 partners including 11 NOCs (Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, France, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Italy, Portugal, Germany and Croatia), 3 European federations (European Athletics, European Volleyball Confederation and FIBA Europe) and 3 specialised organisations (INTERPOL, Sport & Recreation Alliance UK and EOSE). The IOC, through its Ethics and Compliance Office, is an associated partner of the project.
Source: 26 February 2021, POINTS Project All Sports
The International Betting Integrity Association & the All-In Diversity Project team-up to tackle the challenges faced by sports and sports betting
The All-in Diversity Project, an industry-driven initiative that aims to benchmark diversity, equality and inclusion in the global betting and gaming sector, is proud to welcome one of the world’s leading associations as a Strategic Partner.
The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA), a global organization working with industry, sport and law enforcement to keep sport free from match-fixing and betting corruption, is expanding its network to meet the challenges of a changing world of customers and products and the increasing spotlight on equality issues within the world of sport through its new partnership with the All-In Diversity Project.
The partnership will bring together the world of sports integrity and Diversity, Equality and Inclusion to help foster a forward thinking, more sustainable approach to the industry.
Khalid Ali, CEO of IBIA said: “The demographics of sports betting is changing and, as an industry, we need to be aware of the opportunities and challenges this presents. The collaboration with the All-in Diversity Project has two main objectives; the first is to promote diversity within the betting industry; the second is to understand how the wealth inequality in women’s sports could lead to integrity concerns. By working together, we hope to tackle these issues through a series of events and studies that we have planned for the next few years”.
“Having the IBIA support the All-in Diversity Project is a huge leap forward for us. Collaborating with standard setting global organisations such as IBIA means we can accelerate progress and engage with a wider audience to address some of the challenges faced by sports and sports betting - from the hidden impact of inequality on integrity, to the more obvious issues related to gender and race within the entire sports and betting ecosystem by sharing data, resources and experience and developing tools that work. We are thrilled to have them as a partner,” says Kelly Kehn, Co-Founder of the All-In Diversity Project.
Source: 16 February 2021, IBIA All Sports https://allindiversityproject.com/
Match-fixing on rise during pandemic and 'diversifying' into new areas
Sport is facing a “massive spread in the cancer of match-fixing” during the Covid-19 era, investigators have said, with fixers diversifying into new areas and targeting especially vulnerable teams, players and officials.
Experts at Sportradar, seen by Fifa as the global leader on detecting match manipulation, tracked more than 600,000 matches across 26 sports in 2020 and saw a steep rise in suspicious betting activity in football friendlies – despite fewer matches being played during the pandemic – as well as fixing in several other sports including table tennis, esports and volleyball.
“While the amount of sport collapsed in 2020 as a consequence of Covid-19, we discovered a massive spread in the cancer of match-fixing,” Andreas Krannich, the managing director of Sportradar’s Integrity Services, said. “In the past match-fixers have targeted those sports and leagues where the profit and turnover is biggest, such as football, tennis and basketball. But now they have diversified.
“What the fixers quickly understood is that a lot of sports are now suffering financially as a consequence of Covid-19. And where there is far less money, players, referees, coaches, presidents are increasingly vulnerable. We have even seen match-fixers take over complete clubs – invest, bring in some of their own staff, and start to manipulate.”
It is understood that football teams from Russia, Brazil, Vietnam, Czech Republic and Armenia frequently feature in suspicious friendlies, which rose from 38 in 2019 to 62 in 2020. One trend is for fixers to target games at foreign training camps during winter and summer breaks, where corrupted players and match officials are often able to leave the country before investigators can question them.
According to Sportradar, which works with 26 sports bodies including Fifa, the most recent case occurred during the past fortnight in a friendly in Europe where a referee is suspected of manipulating the match to ensure at least two goals were scored in the first half.
There were also sharp rises in suspicious activity in table tennis, which went from one escalated match in 2019 to 20 in 2020, and esports, which increased from three matches under suspicion in 2019 to 39 last year. Meanwhile, in Thailand alone there were 17 basketball matches in 2020 that are suspected to have been fixed.
In total Sportradar’s systems flagged 526 highly suspicious games across sport last year compared to 661 in 2019. However, Krannich said that in percentage terms the number of fixed games had actually gone up in 2020 “with new sports, new leagues and new federations targeted successfully”.
“We have extremely good networks in bookmaking around the world as well as informants from law enforcement, the police, and the match-fixing world,” he said. “And what they were telling us was that match-fixers were running out of money and they were thinking: ‘OK, how can we compensate? How can we make profit out of this situation?.’ And what they have done … they’ve diversified. We have seen sports that were previously seen as an add-on become more targeted by fixers.”
Krannich also said that Sportradar would be making its Universal Fraud Detection System (UFDS) free to all sporting bodies for the first time from October to help them better detect any problems.
“This would be like a burglar alarm, provided free forever, to alert our sporting partners to suspicious matches,” he said. “Since 2009 we have found over 5,300 manipulated matches in different sports. And if we say matches are manipulated we are 110% sure. We cannot afford, and we have never had, a false positive – meaning it’s the tip of the iceberg of the real numbers.”
Source: 16 February 2021, The Guardian All Sports
Sportradar Announces Launch of Universal Fraud Detection System
London, February 16 – Sportradar Integrity Services – the leading global supplier of sports integrity solutions – today announced the launch of the Universal Fraud Detection System (UFDS). Evolving from
its current bet monitoring service, the UFDS will be funded by Sportradar and offered free of charge to any sports federation, or league worldwide, and will be made available in October 2021.
Since 2005, Sportradar has used its technically advanced bet monitoring system – the Fraud Detection System (FDS) – to detect match-fixing across global sport. In 2020 alone, over 600,000 matches were monitored by the FDS across 1,000+ leagues and competitions, in 26 different sports.
Across the past 15 years, more than 5,300 matches have been classified as suspicious in the FDS, and Sportradar Integrity Services has supported over 400 successful sporting disciplinary sanctions, and over 30 successful criminal convictions against those who have sought to corrupt sport. , Through this landmark commitment to safeguarding the integrity of global sport, Sportradar are making the capabilities and benefits of this established and proven bet monitoring service available to all of sport . Leading up to the launch of the UFDS in October, Sportradar will be speaking to sporting bodies so they can understand the service being offered, and will continue to upscale their technology and operation to deliver this ambitious undertaking.
Carsten Koerl, Sportradar Group CEO said: “We believe that integrity is fundamental to public confidence
in sport, and that wrongdoing at any tier of competition affects all levels of sports and its fans. Today marks a very special day in the history of our company, as we announce the upcoming launch of our core bet monitoring system, at no financial charge to any sports federation or league that wants to use it. By making this significant investment in integrity via the UFDS initiative, we are demonstrating our commitment to support the sustainability of sport around the globe.
“We are continuing to upscale our technology and operation to handle this considerable undertaking, and as well as providing it to new partners we have already set about discussing and implementing the UFDS with our 70+ existing FDS partners. We are very excited to launch this exciting initiative and add to the
proven track record of our integrity team, by ensuring the UFDS plays a major role in protecting the integrity of the sports we all love in the decades to come.”
The IOC’s Olympic Movement Unit on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions remarked: “The IOC’s OM Unit PMC welcomes this significant commitment by its longstanding partner Sportradar. We will continue to work with all stakeholders of the Olympic Movement, notably International Federations, National Olympic Committees and multi-sports events organisers, to reach a sustainable approach towards protecting all sports from competition manipulation.”
“It continues to be important for all sporting organisations to understand the most sustainable way to protect sports from competition manipulation. Utilising this substantial investment by Sportradar with its proven and reliable bet monitoring of the global betting market, can merely be the foundation for a holistic
www.sportradar.com integrity programme: Therefore, all sporting organisations are reminded once again, that an allencompassing approach – as in the OM Unit PMC’s specific ’3 Pillar Strategy’ – is fundamental in order to achieve sustainable and long-term results.”
Ahmed Alosaymi, AFC’s Head of Integrity, remarked: "We have worked with Sportradar since 2013, and their data-driven approach to utilising the latest technology, matched with the professional experience of their analysts, has allowed us to be at the forefront of ensuring integrity for football in Asia. With more matches happening each season, coupled with the tremendous popularity of Asian Football, ensuring we have the right partner that delivers us results is key. The AFC has worked very closely with Sportradar to bring several cases to justice. We believe that this move of the offering of UFDS will help protect the integrity of sports globally, giving leagues and federations at all levels the opportunity to safeguard their sport and competitions for all their stakeholders.”
Source: 16 February 2021, Sportradar All Sports
Annual review 2020
This Annual Review looks back at the final year of the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) and its activity in 2020.On 1st January 2021, the TIU was subsumed into the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) which became an independent body established by the International Governing Bodies of Tennis to promote, encourage, enhance and safeguard the integrity of professional tennis worldwide.
Source: 22 February 2021, ITIA Tennis
Football: Beckenbauer cannot be prosecuted in 2006 World Cup corruption case, says Fifa
GENEVA (AFP) - Franz Beckenbauer and other former German football officials cannot be prosecuted over the 2006 World Cup vote-buying scandal because the statute of limitations has expired, Fifa's ethics committee said on Thursday (Feb 25).
"The adjudicatory chamber of the independent ethics committee has ruled that the conduct of Franz Beckenbauer, Theo Zwanziger and Horst R. Schmidt in connection with the 2006 Fifa World Cup cannot be prosecuted due to the expiry of the applicable limitation period," it said in a statement.
Fifa's internal judiciary said it had determined that the statute of limitation had expired in 2012 for Beckenbauer and in 2015 for Zwanziger and Schmidt.
In March 2016, Fifa's ethics committee opened formal proceedings against Beckenbauer and five other people over their roles in the bidding process for the 2006 Finals, amid allegations of bribery.
Beckenbauer, who is referred to as "the Kaiser" in Germany as the regal defender who steered his country to World Cup triumphs as both a player and a manager, chaired the 2006 World Cup organising committee.
Former German Football Association president Zwanziger and former general secretary Schmidt were also mentioned in those proceedings.
At the time, the ethics committee pointed to "possible undue payments and contracts to gain an advantage in the 2006 Fifa World Cup host selection".
The investigation was prompted by a report in German publication Der Spiegel in 2015 that Germany had used a secret fund of 10 million Swiss francs (S$14.7 million) to buy votes and obtain the rights to host the competition at the expense of South Africa. Source: 26 February 2021, The Straits Times