In this edition of the bi-weekly bulletin, we have some articles regarding match-fixing in Australia. Another case of a young athlete charged with match-fixing continues to prove that young players are very vulnerable to competition manipulation. Finally, the Tennis Integrity Unit is stepping up in their fight against match-fixing with smartphone apps and warnings to young and experienced athletes.
The Integrity in Sports Programme is still involved in many events around the world in the upcoming month to raise awareness on the severity of match-fixing, among other crimes in sports.
Brisbane teenager and reigning Australian Open boys champion Oliver Anderson has been charged with match fixing at a tennis tournament in eastern Victoria, as police continue to target alleged corruption in sport. The tournament was held at Traralgon in October and the 18-year-old has been charged with conduct that corrupts a betting outcome, Fairfax Media reported. Detectives from the Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit (SIIU) took part in the investigation and police said bookmakers also assisted. It is still unclear how Anderson is alleged to have fixed the match, which occurred at the low-tier tournament. He is expected to appear in Latrobe Valley Magistrates Court on March 2. The charges come after former professional tennis player Nick Lindahl avoided a jail term for fixing a match and attempting to conceal the evidence earlier this year. Lindahl, 27, faced a maximum two-year prison sentence, but was given a 12-month good behaviour bond and a $1000 fine. Lindahl was the favourite to win a match at the Toowoomba Futures in 2013, but approached his opponent, Andrew Corbitt, offering to throw the fixture in exchange for $500. His highest singles ranking was 187 in May 2010. Rafael Nadal says the worst thing about Australian Open boys champion Oliver Anderson being charged with match-fixing is his age – 18...
Source: "Australian teenager Oliver Anderson charged with match fixing", 5 January 2017, The New Daily, https://thenewdaily.com.au/sport/tennis/2017/01/05/australian-teenager-oliver-anderson-charged-match-fixing/
Instances of potential match-fixing cases in Italy with Marco Cecchinato at the center have come before, but there have been instances of the same abroad as well. In Chile two players are in the eye of the storm. The two players are Juan Carlos Saez and Ricardo Urzua are ranked 613th and 940th in the ATP Rankings respectively. In their respective singles matches played in the Talca Futures event from 28th November to 4th December, unusual betting patterns were recorded, which indicates that the matches could have been fixed. Saez lost to the 19-year-old Alejandro Tabilo (World No. 609). Tabilo admitted he has some doubts. "I was focused on my game, but it's true that Saez didn't play well. I don't know what happened to him." Asked if the match was fixed, he replied, "It's possible, but I am not sure about it. I don't want to speak about it." At the same time, you have to consider that Saez was playing his first match in three months where he didn't play because of a groin injury. "I practically didn't practice and I was at a level that wasn't enough to beat anyone. If the match is suspicious, show me proof. It's easy to judge, but I am innocent, I don't need money and I would never take the risk to get dirty money," said Saez, who will take action legally to protect his image. Probably Urzua will do the same. "I didn't receive any official statement, I only heard it through rumours." Meanwhile investigations are taking place in Colombia, where the Tennis Integrity Unit authorities listened to some players, and in Spain, where 34 people have been arrested.
Source: Gatto Luigi, "Two potential match-fixing cases in Chile!", 26 December 2016, Tennis World USA, https://www.tennisworldusa.org/news/news/Tennis_Stories/39210/two-potential-matchfixing-cases-in-chile-/
International match-fixers are using social media to groom the next generation of corrupt cricketers. Foreign bookmakers are tapping into sites like Facebook to target some of our youngest cricketers. An investigation by News Corp has found people linked with off shore betting syndicates are direct messaging boys and girls. Players on the cusp of national or Big Bash selection have reportedly become the biggest targets. Cricket Australia's head of integrity says players have been informed not to reply to suspicious online approaches and they should report the behaviour.
Source: "Cricket Australia warns young players of online match-fixing attempts", 30 December 2016, 3AW Australia https://www.3aw.com.au/news/cricket-australia-warns-young-players-of-online-matchfixing-attempts-20161229-gtjn4x.html
Russian officials have for the first time admitted the existence of a doping operation which affected some of the world's major competitions. A report on 9 December claimed more than 1,000 Russians benefited from a doping cover-up between 2011 and 2015. In interviews with the New York Times, officials acknowledged the programme but denied it was state-sponsored. "It was an institutional conspiracy," said Anna Antseliovich, acting director general of Russia's anti-doping agency. However, Antseliovich, who has not been directly implicated in the investigations, said that the government's top officials were not involved. Vitaly Smirnov, the 81-year-old who has been a leading sports official since the Soviet era and who has been appointed by Russian President Vladimir Putin to reform the anti-doping system, told the New York Times: "I don't want to speak for the people responsible. "From my point of view, as a former minister of sport, president of Olympic committee - we made a lot of mistakes." Smirnov also suggested the leaks made by the Fancy Bears - a group of hackers who have released the medical records of several athletes from around the world - showed Russia had not been competing on a level playing field. In July, an investigation commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) said Russia's sports ministry "directed, controlled and oversaw" manipulation of urine samples provided by its athletes. A second Wada report from Canadian law professor and sports lawyer Dr Richard McLaren said the London 2012 Olympics was "corrupted on an unprecedented scale". According to McLaren's report, salt and coffee were used to manipulate Russian samples and the system was refined over the course of the London 2012 Olympics, 2013 Worlds in Moscow and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi to protect likely Russian medal winners. Russia won 72 medals at the London Games, 21 of which were gold, and 33 medals at Sochi, 13 of which were gold. Russian sports officials had previously denied the existence of any doping operation, even as the International Olympic Committee opened disciplinary proceedings against several Russian athletes, while the country also lost the hosting rights to a number of international events. Russia's athletics team is banned from competition by the International Association of Athletics Federation.
Source: "Russian doping: Officials admit to existence of doping programme", 28 December 2016, BBC Sport, https://www.bbc.com/sport/38448842
A smartphone app and an enhanced education programme lie at the heart of the Tennis Integrity Unit’s latest efforts to control match-fixing. Tennis corruption returned to the news agenda this week when 18-year-old Oliver Anderson – the reigning junior champion at the Australian Open –was charged with distorting “a betting outcome” by Victoria Police. Since the establishment of the TIU in 2008, its full-time staff – which has doubled over the past year to 10 – has been dominated by ex-policeman working as investigators. But the scale of the problem has led to new measures intended to cut off the supply of potential fixers at source. “We will be appointing a dedicated training and education manager in early 2017,” said a TIU spokesman. “A new smartphone app has also been introduced which provides direct access to the TIU online player education program in six languages: English, Italian, French, Spanish, Russian and Chinese.” The number of “suspicious betting alerts” flagged by bookmakers continues to rise year on year, as criminal gangs seek to take advantage of the minuscule prize pots operating at the lowest level of the game. Anderson’s alleged fix, for instance, related to the loss of a set in his first-round victory at the $50,000 Traralgon Challenger in October. About one match in 500 prompts further investigation, with the vast majority operating out of the spotlight in far-flung places. “There has been a consistent focus of concern on the ITF Futures and ATP Challenger tours, which are considered most at risk,” said the spokesman. To call $10,000 Futures tournaments “professional” is itself a stretch, but live-score data for these events has been available to bookmakers since December 2015, when the International Tennis Federation sold these rights to the Swiss firm Sportsradar for a reported $70million. The Anderson case followed last month’s large-scale police operation in Spain, where 34 people were arrested in connection with 17 alleged fixes. “If people are caught and charged, I see that as being a positive thing,” said Andy Murray this week. “If it’s going on and nothing is happening about it that’s much worse for the future of the sport.”
Source: Simon Briggs, "Smartphone app lies at heart of Tennis Integrity Unit’s latest attempt to combat match-fixing", 7 January 2017, Telegraph https://www.telegraph.co.uk/tennis/2017/01/07/smartphone-app-lies-heart-oftennis-integrity-units-latest-attempt/
The Latin American Organization for the Promotion of Thoroughbred Racing announced Dec. 29 that Uruguay has adopted new anti-doping regulations. The change will result in all 39 of the country's stakes races, both its 12 black-type stakes included in part one of the International Cataloguing Standards as well as the country's 27 other domestic group stakes (that appear in Part
II of ICS), having post-race samples to an International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA)-accredited lab. The five Uruguay classics will prohibit race-day medication. Beginning in January 2018, 3-year-old foals will be completely free from medication. Currently, the administration of pharmacological treatment is allowed, for 3-year-old foals during their second semester (first semester of the calendar year). The changes follow the guidelines of the IFHA.
Source: "Uruguay Updates Anti-Doping Regulations", 31 December 2016, BloodHorse https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/218707/uruguay-updates-anti-doping-regulations
INTEGRITY IN SPORT EVENTS
International Law Enforcement Workshop
26-27 January 2017 Rome, Italy
The INTERPOL Integrity in Sports Unit and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will host an International Law Enforcement Workshop addressed to investigators.
- Anti-Corruption Anti-Doping Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Australia Chile Cricket Cricket Australia Football Integrity International Olympic Committee (IOC) Match-Fixing McLaren Report Olympic Paralympic Russia Sochi 2014 Social Media Tennis Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) Uruguay World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)