The International Cricket Council (ICC) has recently suspended Sri Lanka’s bowling coach for match-fixing and other corruption conduct in the sport. Also in cricket, a former South African batsman pleaded guilty to eight corruption charges and is facing a potential 15-year sentence. The sportsman is being charged under the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act of 2004, which makes match-fixing and spot-fixing in sport a crime in South Africa. This is the first time that this act is being exercised.
Young tennis players across Spain have allegedly been detained by the Guardia Civil in an investigation into alleged match-fixing on the ITF Futures and Challenger tours. They are suspected of being involved with the Armenian mafia.
Former Ghana Football Association (GFA) president was handed a life ban from all football-related activities and fined 500,000 Swiss Francs by Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) following various violations of the governing body’s ethics code, including bribery and corruption. He was found guilty after being filmed by an investigative journalist in a hotel room appearing to take a $65,000 bribe from a supposed businessman.
Media reports that an investigation of more than 70 million documents analysed over eight months by 80 journalists from members of the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) revealed that the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) knowingly helped clubs such as Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City to cover up their irregularities, therefore avoiding the most severe Financial Fair Play punishment, namely being excluded from UEFA Champions League.
Two officials at a suspended Romanian anti-doping laboratory have been removed from their posts after being found to have covered up positive samples. The Bucharest Laboratory was provisionally suspended by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in November 2017 due to non-compliance and has yet to be reinstated. Last week, WADA has also revoked the accreditation of the Laboratório de Análises de Dopagem (Lisbon Laboratory) due to non-compliance with the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL) and its related Technical Documents.
In a bid to tackle match-fixing in sport competitions and addiction among gamblers, Albania’s parliament has recently passed a law banning sports betting and other forms of gambling from 2019. Albania’s sports betting industry has an annual turnover estimated at 700 million euros, raising concerns about its impact on low-income families and the integrity of national sport.
In terms of good practice, Victoria Police has signed a Letter of Agreement with the Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS) in a bid to continue targeting suspicious betting activity on Australian sporting events. Police will be alerted to irregular betting patterns and receive alerts of suspicious betting activity on sporting events nationwide. The alerts will be sent to the Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit for investigation. GLMS will not be able to access any law enforcement data.
INTERPOL’s Project Stadia has launched its Knowledge Management System (SKMS) to support host countries in their safety and security preparations for major national and international public events. Creating a global network of experts in the field of major event policing and security, SKMS provides real-time information on emerging incidents, events and emergencies.
Lastly, twenty people risk being ordered to stand trial for alleged corruption in the long-delayed plans to build a new stadium for Roma. Prosecutors in Rome wrapped up their investigation last week, nearly five months after the stadium’s main constructor and eight other people were arrested for alleged wrongdoing linked to bureaucratic matters involving the proposed venue. Prosecutors also allege that payments were made illegally in cash, along with bills for non-existent job hires and counselling.
We welcome submissions on best practices, major developments, new trends and relevant articles for publication in the bulletin. We also welcome hard copies of publications that your Organization is producing in the field of sports corruption at the below address.
The next bi-weekly bulletin will be circulated on Monday, 19 November 2018.
South Africa’s Bodi convicted of match-fixing
CAPE TOWN: Gulam Bodi has become the first South African sportsperson to be criminally convicted of match-fixing. Bodi appeared in the Pretoria Commercial Crimes Court on Friday where, according to Netwerk24, he pleaded guilty to eight charges of corruption. Bodi begged the court for forgiveness.
“The accused pleads to the mercy of the court. He fully understands the seriousness of his offences and begs the state for forgiveness,” the Afrikaans website quoted the former opening batsman as saying in a written statement. The case has been postponed until next year as the prosecutors continue their investigation to try and determine an appropriate sentence, but reports have indicated that Bodi could face jail time. Bodi was guilty of being the link between bookmakers and domestic players during the 2015 RAM SLAM T20 competition, where he offered players “rewards” for certain outcomes.
Six players – Ethy Mbhalati, Alviro Petersen, Thami Tsolekile, Jean Symes, Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Pume Matshikwe – were involved in the scandal and received suspensions of their own.
Source: Agencies, 4 November 2018, Pakistan Today
Murcia tennis players arrested in match fixing investigation
The young players are suspected of being involved with the Armenian mafia. Three young tennis players from the region of Murcia are among the 14 across Spain who are known to have been detained by the Guardia Civil in an investigation by the national courts into alleged match fixing on the ITF Futures and Challenger tours.
Full details have not been made public, but it is known that the arrests took place in Murcia and Cartagena and that others have been detained in nine of Spain's 50 provinces. No major tennis starts are involved, although some of those detained have gained a certain amount of prominence in their home provinces due to their sporting exploits.
It is also reported that some of the players may have been collaborating with an Armenian mafia group in order to indulge in illegal betting on matches in which they were involved, and that they face possible charges of repeated fraud, money laundering and belonging to a criminal organization. [...]
Source: 30 October 2018, Murcia Today
Kwesi Nyantakyi: Fifa issues life ban for Ghana football boss
One of African football's most powerful figures has been banned from the sport for life for breaking bribery and corruption rules.
Ex-Ghana Football Association (GFA) president Kwesi Nyantakyi also broke conflict of interest rules, Fifa said.
Football's world governing body launched an investigation after Nyantakyi was pictured taking $65,000 (£48,000) from an undercover reporter. Fifa fined Nyantakyi 500,000 Swiss francs (£390,000). Nyantakyi was also vice-president of the Confederation of African Football and a member of the Fifa Council.
He stepped down as GFA president in June after film of him allegedly accepting a "cash gift" was made public. The film was captured by journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas and BBC Africa's investigations unit, Africa Eye, received exclusive access to the footage.
Nyantakyi later resigned his Caf and Fifa posts but claimed the footage had been doctored to falsely incriminate him. The adjudicatory chamber of Fifa's ethics committee said the ban for life applied to "all football-related activities at both national and international level".
Source: 30 October 2018, BBC Sport
ICC suspends Sri Lanka bowling coach for match-fixing
COLOMBO: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday suspended Sri Lanka's bowling coach Nuwan Zoysa after accusing him of match-fixing and other "corrupt conduct" in the sport.
"Mr Zoysa has 14 days from 1 November 2018 to respond to the charges," the ICC said in a brief statement.
Zoysa is charged, among other things, for "being party to an effort to fix or contrive or to otherwise influence improperly the result, progress, conduct or other aspects of an International match", the statement said. It gave no further details. Forty-year-old Zoysa is the second Sri Lankan to be charged by the ICC's anti-corruption unit (ACU).
Earlier this month, dashing former batsman, ex-chief selector and former captain Sanath Jayasuriya was charged for failing to cooperate with a match-fixing probe and concealing information. Jayasuriya, 49, was reportedly asked to cooperate with an inquiry from ACU chief Alex Marshall who visited Sri Lanka last month. The ACU is acting further on their previous investigation which in January 2016 saw Galle stadium curator Jayananda Warnaweera banned for three years after he failed to cooperate with the ACU.
ACU head Marshall last month said: "There is currently an ICC (ACU) investigation under way in Sri Lanka. Naturally, as part of this we are talking to a number of people."
It was not immediately clear if the charges against Zoysa and Jayasuriya relate to the same case or if they are being investigated separately. Sri Lanka has recently sought help from neighbouring India to drafting laws to combat cheating in the game.
Colombo has also promised to establish a special police unit to investigate match-fixing after a documentary aired in May showed Galle groundsman Tharanga Indika and professional cricketer Tharindu Mendis allegedly talking about doctoring the pitch for the Test against England starting November 6. Indika and Mendis have been suspended by Sri Lanka Cricket pending an ICC investigation. A third man, provincial coach Jeevantha Kulatunga, was also suspended.
Source: AFP, 1 November 2018, Geo News
Albania passes law banning sports betting, online gambling
(Reuters) - Albania’s parliament passed a law on Thursday banning sports betting and other forms of gambling from the start of 2019 in a bid to tackle addiction among gamblers and match fixing in sport competitions, while also protecting household finances.
The legislation, which passed with 75 votes from members of Prime Minister Edi Rama’s Socialist Party, will force the closure of slot machine parlors, betting shops and all other forms of sports wagering including via online sites. It will, however, allow gambling at casinos in large hotels and a televised bingo game and national lottery will continue to operate because they have an ongoing concession.
Albania’s sports betting industry has grown rapidly in recent decades and has an annual turnover estimated at 700 million euros, stoking concerns about its impact on low-income families and the integrity of national sport. Rama, an artist and former basketball player, has led a backlash against the industry.
“We are waging a frontal war with the evil entrenched deeply in our society over the years,” he told parliament before Thursday’s vote.
The prime minister accused some betting firm owners of having a criminal record and links to organized crime and said a special task force would be set up to shut down any online gambling sites operating in the country.
“They might keep changing sites, and we’ll keep shutting them down,” he said.
Representatives of sports betting companies, which had offered to stop advertising and close half of the country’s betting shops in an effort to avert a total ban, said they would fight the prohibition and seek compensation.
“The companies are also evaluating the damages from the unilateral interruption of their license and mulling legal action to recover the damages,” Artan Shyti, the head of a sports betting industry association, told Reuters. ($1 = 108.8500 leke)
Source: Benet Koleka & Editing by Helen Popper, 25 October 2018, Reuters https://www.reuters.com/article/us-albania-gambling-ban/albania-passes-law-banning-sports-betting-online-gambling-idUSKCN1MZ2GR
Romanian Lab Officials Covered Up Positive Tests: WADA
LONDON — The top two officials at a suspended Romanian anti-doping laboratory have been removed from their posts after being found to have covered up positive samples, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said on Thursday.
The Bucharest laboratory was provisionally suspended by WADA last November due to non-compliance and has yet to be re-instated.
Gunter Younger, WADA's director of intelligence and investigations, told Reuters that a whistleblower had contacted WADA with allegations about the laboratory.
"We started an investigation, we looked into email communications and interviewed people," he said at a WADA symposium at Lord's cricket ground. "And we could establish that actually there was a cover-up, at least two samples we could definitely say.
"We could establish that the director and the deputy director were involved in the cover-up," he added.
Younger, a Munich police officer who has worked for Europol and Interpol, said the Romanian government had removed the individuals concerned.
He added, however, that there was no clear motivation for the director's actions, suggesting he was acting on instruction from others.
The investigation had since been extended to "an outside entity" and remained ongoing.
"We are confident that by the end of the year we will have a result but then we will tell the government first whether this is enough evidence and then we will see how the government will react.
"There must be at least one more person (involved)," he added.
Younger said his unit, created in 2016, with two teams of an investigator and analyst, had registered 434 cases to date from whistleblowers with five ongoing investigations.
WADA's main focus in recent years has been on Russia, with the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) suspended in November 2015 after an independent WADA report outlined evidence of widespread state-backed, systematic doping and cover-ups in Russian sport.
WADA moved to reinstate RUSADA in September, opening a pathway for Russia to compete in international sport again despite opposition from many international athletes.
Source: Reuters | Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg, 1 November 2018, The New York Times
Sporting Intregrity Intelligence Unit continue crack down on match fixing
Victoria Police has signed a Letter of Agreement with the Global Lottery Monitoring System in a bid to continue targeting suspicious betting activity on Australian sporting events. Police will be alerted to irregular betting patterns and receive alerts of suspicious betting activity on sporting events nationwide. The alerts will be sent to the Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit for investigation. The Global Lottery Monitoring System will not be able to access any law enforcement data.
GLMS is the state lotteries’ mutualised monitoring system on sport betting, aiming to detect and analysing suspicious betting activities. It facilitates the sharing of sports betting information as part of the effort to ensure sports integrity globally.
This is the second agreement made with a bet monitoring organisation in 12 months, following a similar agreement with ESSA in December 2017.
Assistant Commissioner of Intelligence and Covert Support Command, Neil Paterson, said corruption in sport is a very real concern for Victoria Police and this agreement will allow us to better target growing trends in match fixing. “We know how much Victorian’s love their sport and racing and we want to ensure what they are watching is Fair and void of corruption. Our Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit is working with these bet monitoring organisations to better detect suspicious activity on local sporting events” said A/C Paterson.
“Working with these organisations alerts us to criminal activity in real time and allows our investigators to crack down on match fixing and suspicious betting activity quickly. This agreement with the Global Lottery Monitoring System continues to demonstrate Victoria Police’s dedication to wipe out organised crime involvement in these industries and ensure everyone can enjoy all of our sporting and racing events” he said.
The Victoria Police Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit was created in 2013 to proactively focus on monitoring integrity issues across all sporting and racing codes. The unit works with all sporting and racing bodies to enhance our knowledge and awareness of identified sports integrity issues.
Source: Alex Day, Media Officer, 24 October 2018, Victoria Police https://www.vicpolicenews.com.au/news/sporting-intregrity-intelligence-unit-continue-crack-down-on-match-fixing
Stadia Knowledge Management System (SKMS)
Enhancing security at major sporting events
LYON, France – With criminal groups looking to capitalize on increased border traffic and large crowds, violence and terrorism are just some of the risks associated with major sporting events.
To help address these risks, INTERPOL’s Project Stadia has launched its Knowledge Management System (SKMS) to support host countries in their safety and security preparations for major national and international public events.
Creating a global network of experts in the field of major event policing and security, SKMS provides real-time information on emerging incidents, events and emergencies.
It has two main components:
a comprehensive knowledge repository of good practices in all aspects of major sporting event security, which all member countries can contribute to and benefit from; and
an online collaborative platform where experts in the field can share, discuss, analyze and publish information on the evolving aspects of major sporting event security.
Developing international standards
Alongside the launch of the SKMS, preparing for evacuation challenges to safeguard international sporting events was the focus of a training course hosted at INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters.
Senior police officials from 22 countries took part in the four-day (16 – 19 October) scenario-based Evacuation Challenges for Major International Sporting Events course. It was developed and co-organized by INTERPOL's Project Stadia and the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4).
NCS4 Director Lou Marciani said: “This course established with INTERPOL’s Project Stadia will allow senior police officials and incident management team leaders to prepare plans for evacuation and other protective actions for major international sporting events.”
This week’s session was the third of six modules leading to the International Sport Safety and Security Professional Certificate, as part of efforts to develop international standards on major event security.
“By involving academia in police training through our collaboration with NCS4, this accredited training course allows senior law enforcement officials from around the world to learn from their counterparts and develop the knowledge to safeguard major national and international sporting events,” said Falah Al Dosari, Project Stadia’s senior manager.
Established by INTERPOL in 2012 and funded by Qatar, Project Stadia is contributing to policing and security arrangements for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
“Every country which hosts a major sporting event wants it to be trouble-free and successful. Every event holds many valuable lessons not only for the host country, but for all those who will host major events in the future,” added Mr Al Dosari.
To capture good practices and lessons learned before, during and after major international sporting events, Project Stadia conducts observation and debriefing programmes with designated security officials from both the public sector and private sector who have direct responsibilities for policing and security operations.
It also organizes dedicated expert group meetings on cybersecurity, sports legislation and event safety & security to explore key themes relating to planning and executing safety and security arrangements for major events.
Source: 23 October 2018, INTERPOL
ODDS AND ENDS
WADA revokes accreditation of Lisbon Laboratory
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has revoked the accreditation of the Laboratório de Análises de Dopagem (Lisbon Laboratory) due to non-compliance with the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL) and its related Technical Documents.
The Lisbon Laboratory, which was already suspended, was notified of WADA’s Executive Committee (ExCo) decision on 22 October 2018 and as such, it remains ineligible to analyze doping control samples for Anti-Doping Organizations that are compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code (Code).
On 15 April 2016, the Lisbon Laboratory had been suspended for a period of six months, which was subsequently extended to 12 months. Following the expiry of the one-year suspension, WADA noted that the irregularities persisted and so instituted disciplinary proceedings to revoke the Lisbon Laboratory’s accreditation entirely.
However, based on a Disciplinary Committee recommendation, the Chair of the WADA ExCo decided not to revoke the accreditation at that stage but maintained the suspension until such time as WADA could conduct a full on-site assessment to ensure the full reliability and accuracy of anti-doping analyses and the accurate reporting of results at the level expected of a WADA-accredited Laboratory.
After the Laboratory provided multiple updates on its situation, this assessment was carried out in December 2017 and, following a full review of the Lisbon Laboratory’s status, the WADA Laboratory Expert Group (LabEG) considered that it was still not operating at the required level on the basis of non-compliances with the ISL that were discovered. In addition, non-compliances with the ISL were discovered during WADA’s External Quality Assessment Scheme (EQAS).
Accordingly, the LabEG considered that the Lisbon Laboratory’s WADA accreditation should be revoked. Following formal disciplinary proceedings, during which the Lisbon Laboratory was afforded opportunities to make written representations, the Disciplinary Committee recommended to the ExCo to revoke the Lisbon Laboratory’s WADA accreditation. This recommendation was approved by the WADA ExCo through electronic vote on 18 October.
Pursuant to Article 13.7 of the Code, the Laboratory may appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 21 days of its receipt of the decision.
The WADA Disciplinary Committee also noted in its recommendation that, should the Lisbon Laboratory decide to pursue WADA accreditation in the future, it could enter the probationary phase of accreditation through an expedited process – if such request is made to and is granted by the WADA ExCo – as permitted by Article 22.214.171.124.2, paragraph 4 of the ISL.
WADA is responsible for accrediting and re-accrediting anti-doping laboratories, thereby ensuring that they maintain the highest quality standards. This monitoring role is conducted in conjunction with ISO assessment by independent national accreditation bodies that are full members of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation.
The full list of accredited laboratories can be found on WADA’s website.
Source: 25 October 2018, World Anti-Doping Agency https://www.wada-ama.org/en/media/news/2018-10/wada-revokes-accreditation-of-lisbon-laboratory
European Investigative Collaborations (EIC)
Football: Uefa, PSG, Man City targeted in Football Leaks revelations
PARIS (AFP) - Uefa helped Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City get around their own Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, according to a Football Leaks investigation published on Friday (Nov 2).
According to the investigation of "more than 70 million documents" analysed "over eight months by 80 journalists" from members of European Investigative Collaborations (EIC), Uefa "knowingly helped the clubs to cover up their own irregularities for 'political reasons'."
Both clubs, owned and bankrolled by wealth from Qatar and Abu Dhabi respectively, have avoided the most severe Financial Fair Play punishment of being excluded from the Uefa Champions League.
That is despite using "forbidden money" to inflate their budgets, according to the investigation.
Football Leaks claims Qatar and Abu Dhabi combined "have injected some €4.5 billion (S$7 billion) in the last seven years" to increase the budgets of the clubs they own. Of that figure, €2.7 billion has been into City, via their Abu-Dhabi owners and from allegedly "overestimated" sponsorship deals.
Uefa rules state that clubs cannot spend more than they earn in any given season and deficits must fall within a €30 million limit over three seasons.
Both PSG and City were fined €60 million by Uefa in May 2014, but both were told they would get €40 million of that back if they stuck to the terms of their settlement.
French investigative website Mediapart claims Gianni Infantino - the current Fifa president who was then Uefa's general secretary - "directly negotiated an agreement with Manchester City", bypassing the Financial Control Panel of European football's governing body.
Included in copy in emails sent by Infantino to City's chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak was Nicolas Sarkozy, the former French president and a PSG fan but who also reputedly helped City's Abu-Dhabi owners in their attempts to get around FFP rules.
Asked for a reaction by Mediapart, City said "the attempt to damage the reputation of the club is organised and clear."
PSG said in a statement that it has "always complied strictly with the laws and regulations in force and strongly denies the allegations published today by Mediapart".
Meanwhile, Platini said that his FFP rules were not set up "to kill or strangle clubs financially" even if he always wanted punishments to be handed out.
PSG have been the subject of another Uefa investigation ever since coming under pressure from some of Europe's footballing elite when the French champions signed Neymar from Barcelona for a world-record €222 million in August 2017.
In late September Uefa said it had referred the accusations against the Paris club to its financial unit "for further investigation". PSG's case, though, is complicated by lucrative sponsorship deals with the Qatar National Bank and the Gulf state's tourism authority.
The Football Leaks investigation points the finger at PSG's five-year agreement with the Qatar Tourism Authority, valued at €1.075 billion, or €215 million euros a year.
That is despite the investigation claiming that "two independent auditors (Repucom and Octagon) assigned by Uefa valued the contract at... €123,000 per year for one, and €2.8 million a year for the other".
Source: 3 November 2018, The Straits Times
20 people could face corruption trial over Roma stadium
ROME (AP) — Twenty people risk being ordered to stand trial for alleged corruption in the long-delayed plans to build a new stadium for Roma. However, the ANSA news agency reports that neither Roma nor any of its management members are implicated in the scandal.
Prosecutors in Rome wrapped up their investigation on Tuesday, nearly five months after the stadium’s main constructor, Luca Parnasi, and eight other people were arrested for alleged wrongdoing linked to bureaucratic matters involving the proposed venue. Prosecutors allege that Parnasi led a network that committed a “series of felonies against public governance in order to maintain decisions favorable to the building of Roma’s stadium and other projects.”
Others at risk include Luca Lanzalone, the former president of Rome’s energy supplier ACEA; Andrea Palozzi, a former vice president of the Lazio region encompassing Rome; Michele Civita, the region’s official charged with local development; and Francesco Prosperetti, Rome’s top cultural official. All of the accused deny wrongdoing.
Prosecutors also allege that payments were made illegally in cash, along with bills for non-existent job hires and counseling. Other likely charges include criminal association and illegal financing. Roma’s American president, James Pallotta, first presented the stadium plan in March 2014, saying that it would be ready for the 2016-17 season — yet construction has still not started. The massive project — set to include a training center, entertainment complex, office space and extensive transportation works — has been delayed by environmental concerns, bureaucracy and criticism over public funding.
The project’s cost was originally estimated at 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion), including more than 200 million euros in public financing. The proposed stadium site in Tor di Valle is about halfway between downtown and Leonardo Da Vinci Airport. With a design inspired by the Colosseum, the stadium is slated to seat 52,500 and be expandable to 60,000 for major matches. Roma currently shares the 72,000-seat Stadio Olimpico with city rival Lazio.
Source: AP, 30 October 2018, Fox Sports
- Albania Anti-Corruption Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) Anti-Doping Australia Bucharest Cape Town Colombo Cricket Europe European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) FIFA Financial Fair Play Football France Ghana Ghana Football Association (GFA) ICC's anti-corruption unit (ACU) International Cricket Council (ICC) Italy Laboratório de Análises de Dopagem (Lisbon Laboratory) Lisbon London Lyon Man City Manchester City Match Fixing Match-Fixing Murcia Paris Paris Saint-Germain Portugal PSG Romania Rome South Africa Spain Sri Lanka Stadia Knowledge Management System (SKMS) Tennis UEFA World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)