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INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin - 21 May 2019 - 3 June

Horse racing

The Spanish National Police arrested several first- and second-division soccer players and officials on suspicion of forming a match-fixing group to profit from betting on games. Operation Oikos involved nine raids across the Spain and an expected 11 arrests. La Liga, Spanish football’s governing body, had contacted the authorities about a possible illegal scheme and had worked with them on the operation.

In Georgia, 11 soccer players have been arrested on suspicion of match-fixing and face lengthy prison sentences. In Australia, the Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit (SIIU) detectives have charged a man in relation to alleged harness race fixing.

Belgian club Mechelen, who recently won the Belgian Cup, were stripped of their promotion to the Belgium top league and banned from European competitions. Mechelen were implicated in an investigation into suspicions of fraud related to the payment of salaries, commissions to agents and the suspected rigging of two games in March 2018.

A German tennis player has been suspended for nine months after being found to have committed a corruption offence under the terms of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program. A Russian tennis official has been found guilty of failing to report a corrupt approach to the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU). A Ukrainian tennis player has been handed a lifetime ban and $20,000 fine after being found guilty of match-fixing and related offences by the TIU.

The Kenyan track team coach who was sent home from the 2016 Olympics was banned for 10 years for seeking a bribe of $12,000 to help athletes beat doping tests.

In Morocco, a new anti-doping agency will be soon created. Russia is facing a ban from the 2020 Olympics over allegations that its top athletics officials oversaw the cover-up of a doping offence by a high jumper who had been tipped to win gold at the Games.

In Turkey, a total of 113 suspects were detained while 709 people wanted for various crimes were captured in the crackdown on illegal gambling dens.

The Malta Gaming Authority has signed an agreement with the Malta Police Force to strengthen the exchange of information relating to illegal gaming activities.

Finland’s National Police Board and the Finnish Transport and Communications Authority (Traficom) are committed to increase their efforts to crack down ads of illegal gambling operations on TV and radio.

In Sri Lanka, ten leading sports organizations launched the Association of Sports Federations Society (ASFS) in order to promote a multi-sports culture in the country while fighting corruption.

A former FIFA committee member from New Zealand and Oceania Football secretary general has been given an eight-year ban from all football-related activities and fined $75,000 by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).

The chief executive of a Qatari media group was handed preliminary charges of corruption as part of a French investigation into the bidding process for the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Qatar. He is being prosecuted for corruption for his alleged participation in the payments of large sums to a Senegalese company belonging to the son of a former International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president.

FIFA is restoring the offense of “corruption” to its code of ethics, almost one year after facing criticism over the symbolic removal of the term.

Lastly, we would like to share with our readership an article <> on how Football Leaks is exposing corruption in European soccer.

We welcome submissions on best practices, major developments, new trends and relevant articles for publication in the bulletin.

The next bi-weekly bulletin will be circulated on Monday, 17 June 2019.



Man charged following harness racing integrity investigation - Shepparton

Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit (SIIU) detectives have charged a man today in relation to alleged harness race fixing in Shepparton. Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) contacted police following suspicious activity in a race during a meeting on 17 July, 2018. The HRV Integrity Unit initially identified the need for further investigation into this race on the night, secured evidence and referred the matter to Victoria Police. SIIU investigators subsequently commenced a criminal investigation into the matter. A 49-year-old Kilmore man has been charged with engaging in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome, and use of corrupt conduct information for betting purposes. He is due to appear at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 24 June, 2019. Victoria Police maintains close relations with HRV and other key industry partners in order to monitor activity, detect irregularities, and collect intelligence. The SIIU was established in 2013 and has focused on the collection, analysis and appropriate sharing of intelligence relating to sporting integrity issues in Victoria. The unit continues to work with racing and sporting bodies to enhance knowledge and awareness of identified sports integrity issues.

Source: Natalie Webster, 31 May 2019, Victoria Police

Harness racing


11 soccer players arrested in Georgia in match-fixing case

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — Eleven soccer players in Georgia have been arrested on suspicion of match-fixing and face lengthy prison sentences. The State Security Service said Monday that eight current players and three former players were arrested in relation to matches in the country's two top divisions. Five were members of the WIT Georgia squad which lost to league leader Dinamo Batumi 2-0 on Sunday in one of the games under investigation. Players from two lower-league clubs are also among the suspects. Kakha Kaladze, a two-time Champions League winner who is now mayor of Tbilisi, condemned match-fixing in a television interview. "For me, as for former player, such actions are unacceptable and everyone needs to pay the price for such actions," he told Georgian TV. "This is not sport, it is something else." The security service said the players were approached by an "organized group" which made 93,500 lari ($34,000) off the match-fixing. Authorities showed video footage of what they said was the group of match-fixers discussing the game and later receiving money. The players face between four and six years in prison under Georgian legislation. The Georgian soccer federation said it is cooperating with the investigation.

Source: 21 May 2019, USA Today



La RFEF se persona como acusación particular en el caso de los amaños de partidos dentro de la operación Oikos

  • La Federación fue la primera en actuar al poner el asunto en conocimiento de la Fiscalía y además abrió un expediente disciplinario extraordinario ante los hechos investigados en el partido entre SD Huesca SAD y el CG Tarragona SAD tras recibir un informe de la UEFA

  • La institución que dirige el fútbol español cuenta con un código disciplinario que traslada, de inmediato, los indicios de conductas delictivas a la Justicia

  • Este procedimiento se aplica de manera estricta e inmediata en la nueva etapa de la RFEF, en la que se ha creado el departamento de Integridad

La Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF) se ha personado como acusación particular en el caso de los amaños de los partidos dentro del caso Oikos que desarrolla el juzgado de instrucción número 5 de Huesca y el Cuerpo Nacional de Policía, al considerar que la limpieza y las conductas ejemplares deben prevalecer siempre en el fútbol español y se deben garantizar las mismas.

La RFEF cuenta con una Vicepresidencia y un Departamento de Integridad creado en esta nueva etapa que vela por mantenerla en este ámbito y que desde su inicio ha comenzado a aplicar de manera estricta e inmediata el código disciplinario que existe ante los indicios sobre conductas poco ejemplares.

En el caso del partido que el 27 de mayo de 2018 enfrentó al SD Huesca y al Gimnastic de Tarragona, se puso en marcha de manera inmediata este procedimiento hace ya más de un año. La RFEF recibió sendos informes de la UEFA el 28 y el 29 de mayo sobre la situación anormal de las apuestas monitorizadas en este partido. Esta situación se puso en conocimiento del Comité de Competición de la RFEF el día 29 de mayo.

El Comité de Competición acordó el 30 de mayo abrir un expediente disciplinario extraordinario por la posible comisión de una o más infracciones de las normas deportivas generales. Al día siguiente, se elevó la propuesta del instructor de suspender el procedimiento al entender que existían indicios suficientes para trasladar estos hechos al Ministerio Fiscal, ya que podían ser constitutivos de delito o falta penal. Tras analizar esta propuesta, el día 1 de junio se acordó suspender el procedimiento disciplinario incoado por el Comité y se trasladó a la Fiscalía General del Estado.

En cumplimiento de la normativa vigente, en todo momento en que la RFEF tiene conocimiento de conductas que pudieran ser irregulares, se trasladan los hechos al Comité de Competición. Este órgano abre entonces expediente y, en el supuesto de que los hechos pudieran ser constitutivos de falta o delito, se suspende el procedimiento disciplinario y se traslada de inmediato a la Fiscalía. El procedimiento disciplinario suspendido se reanuda siempre a la vista de los hechos constatados en el procedimiento penal correspondiente.




Spanish police announce arrest of multiple La Liga players in match-fixing raid

Spanish national police announced Tuesday that they expect to arrest 11 different people, including current and former La Liga players, in an operation against match-fixing in the country’s professional soccer leagues. In what they’re calling operation “Oikos,” police say they also plan to arrest active second-division players as well as club presidents and managers. The investigation has reportedly allowed police to look into uncover agreements with players to fix at least three games in the Spanish first, second and third divisions. None of the players have yet been named. According to ESPN, the operation stems from a claim filed by La Liga that alleged irregularities during a game last season between SD Huesca and Nastic Tarragona in the Segunda Division. Huesca, which had already won promotion to La Liga, lost 1-0 to a Nastic team near relegation. Nearly 30 betting companies reportedly suspended all bets for that game after detecting a large amount of money being placed on bets for a scoreless first half and Nastic win. Eyebrows were also reportedly raised when large bets came in from Ukraine and Asia. None of the biggest La Liga teams seem to implicated in this investigation.

Source: Jack Baer, 29 May 2019, Yahoo! Sports




Belgian club Mechelen stripped of promotion over match-fixing

BRUSSELS: Mechelen were stripped of their promotion to the Belgian top flight as punishment in a long-running match-rigging case. Mechelen, who won the Belgian Cup last month, were also banned from European competitions by the national football federation and will start next season with a 12-point penalty. Mechelen were implicated in an investigation into suspicions of fraud related to the payment of salaries, commissions to agents and the suspected rigging of two games in March 2018 in a failed effort to save the club from relegation to the second division. "The Professional Football Appeal Disputes Commission condemns (Mechelen) and four of its administrators for falsifying the competition," said in a statement issued on Saturday. The commission ruled that four Mechelen directors and three player agents were guilt of "falsifying" the result of a match between Mechelen and Waasland-Beveren on 11 March 2018. It also acquitted the players of both teams "completely", but found two Waasland-Beveren directors guilty of "failing to comply with a duty to provide information." Beerschot-Wilrijk will be promoted in Mechelen's place. "We don't understand this decision, we're innocent. We will now study the case and consider filing an appeal," Mechelen responded in a short message on their website.

Source: AFP, 2 June 2019, The New Indian Express



Independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer suspends Osman Torski for breach of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program

German tennis player Osman Torski has been suspended for nine months after being found to have committed a corruption offence under the terms of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP). Six months of the ban are suspended on the basis that he commits no further breaches of the TACP.

The 17-year old player was found to have attempted to contrive the outcome of a match he played at an ITF Germany F15 Futures tournament in October 2017.

Having considered the case, which was based on a Tennis Integrity Unit investigation, independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer Prof. Richard McLaren imposed the suspension, which is effective from 29 May 2019.

As a result, the player is suspended from competing in or attending any sanctioned event organised or recognised by the governing bodies of the sport for three months. Assuming no further breaches of the TACP are committed, Mr Torski will be eligible to resume playing tennis from 28 August 2019.

The relevant section of the TACP he was found to have breached is:

Section D.1.d: “No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any Event.

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 corruption in tennis.

Source: 30 May 2019, Tennis Integrity Unit



Kenya's Olympic track coach banned 10 years for corruption

The Kenyan track team coach who was sent home from the 2016 Olympics was banned for 10 years Wednesday for seeking a bribe of $12,000 to help athletes beat doping tests.

Michael Rotich was banned by the IAAF ethics board following a three-year investigation prompted by an undercover sting by British newspaper The Sunday Times. He was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and $14,000 in procedural costs.

In video footage released by the newspaper during the Rio de Janeiro Games, Rotich asked undercover reporters for the money to help a group of British runners dope with EPO and get away with it in the region in Kenya where he was the senior track official. To do that, he would give them advance notice of any drug tests.

"When I have interest, I will be able to find ways and means of doing that," Rotich told the reporters.

The undercover reporters were posing as the coach and manager of a fictional group of athletes and no doping took place.

But the video was released following a series of Kenyan doping and corruption scandals involving high-profile athletes and senior officials.

Rotich was filmed alongside another Kenyan, a man identified as Joseph Mwangi, who said he could provide the banned blood-boosting substance EPO to the athletes once they were in Kenya.

Three videos were recorded of Rotich meeting the undercover reporters in January and February 2016.

In them, Rotich said he could use his influence in the famous high-altitude training region in Kenya's Rift Valley to find out if and when doping control officers were planning to test the visiting British athletes.

Rotich told the undercover reporters that he knew the local drug testers and would say to them: "I am in charge of the region. Would you mind from time to time let me know if you are coming to test our own athletes or international athletes?"

Rotich said he was confident the testers would comply and he could give the British athletes 12 hours' notice of any tests, allowing them to try to flush any banned substances out of their systems. Out-of-competition doping tests are meant to surprise athletes so they can't take any action to avoid detection.

In his IAAF case, Rotich claimed he was only gathering information on corruption to take to authorities. That defense was rejected by the three-member ethics panel.

Although Rotich's actions didn't lead to any doping or cover-ups, the presence of advance notice of tests in Kenya came under more scrutiny in the case of former Olympic 1,500-meter champion Asbel Kiprop.

Kiprop admitted that he had been given advance notice of a doping test in Kenya in late 2017. Kiprop also admitted paying the doping control officer a small amount of money, which he suggested was common in Kenya. Kiprop tested positive for EPO and was banned for four years.

Source: Associated Press, 23 May 2019, Fox News

Track and Field


Tennis umpire Svetlana Teryaeva facing sanction after failing to report a corrupt approach to the Tennis Integrity Unit

Russian tennis official Svetlana Teryaeva has been found guilty of failing to report a corrupt approach, and knowledge of corrupt activity, to the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU), as required by the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP).

The offences relate to an approach she received in July 2017 from a third party who offered the promise of payment in return for her agreement to manipulate scores inputted on her PDA device. This would allow gamblers to bet with certainty, and profit, on scores during matches she officiated in.

Although Ms Teryaeva refused to co-operate with the corruptor, she also failed to disclose the approach to the TIU.

Having considered the case, independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer (AHO) Jayne Mulcahy QC found that two breaches of the TACP had been committed. A decision on an appropriate sanction will be made and announced at a future date, to be determined by AHO Mulcahy.

The relevant sections of the TACP which relate to the reporting of corrupt approaches is:

Section D.2.b.i: “In the event any Related Person or Tournament Support Person is approached by any person who offers or provides any type of money, benefit or Consideration to a Related Person or Tournament Support Person to (i) influence or attempt to influence the outcome of any aspect of any Event, or (ii) provide Inside Information, it shall be the Related Person’s or Tournament Support Person’s obligation to report such incident to the TIU as soon as possible.

Section D.2.b.ii: “In the event any Related Person or Tournament Support Person knows or suspects that any Covered Person or other individual has committed a Corruption Offense, it shall be the Related Person’s or Tournament Support Person’s obligation to report such knowledge or suspicion to the TIU as soon as possible.

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 corruption in tennis.

Source: 25 May 2019, Tennis Integrity Unit


Lifetime ban and $20,000 fine for Helen Ploskina after being found guilty of match-fixing offences

Ukrainian tennis player Helen Ploskina has been handed a lifetime ban and $20,000 fine after being found guilty of match-fixing and related offences by an independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer.

A Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) investigation established that the 22-year old, currently ranked 821 in ITF World Tennis singles, introduced another player to a corruptor, who offered that individual payment in return for agreeing to fix the outcome of matches. The offences took place in October 2016.

In addition, she was found guilty of two further offences of failing to report knowledge of corrupt activity and failing to co-operate with a TIU investigation.

The sanction and fine were imposed in a decision issued today, 28 May 2019, by independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer Ian Mill QC. As a result, and with immediate effect, the player is permanently excluded from competing in or attending any sanctioned event organised or recognised by the governing bodies of the sport.

Currently ranked 821 in ITF World Tennis singles, Ms Ploskina has a career high ranking of 698 WTA, in October 2014.

The relevant sections of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program she was found to have breached are:

Section D.1.e: “No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, solicit or facilitate any Player to not use his or her best efforts in any Event.

Section D.2.a.ii: “In the event any Player knows or suspects that any other Covered Person or other individual has committed a Corruption Offense, it shall be the Player's obligation to report such knowledge or suspicion to the TIU as soon as possible.

Section D.2.c: “For the avoidance of doubt, (i) a failure of the Reporting Obligation by any Covered Person; and/or (ii) a failure of the duty to cooperate under Section F.2 shall constitute a Corruption Offense for all purposes of the Program.

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 corruption in tennis.

Source: 28 May 2019, Tennis Integrity Unit




L'Agence marocaine antidopage, c'est pour bientôt

Le décret complétant la loi 97-12 relative à la lutte contre le dopage adoptée au parlement en juillet 2016 est désormais fin prêt. Il a été présenté aujourd’hui pour approbation au Conseil de gouvernement. Il survient dans un contexte marqué par de nombreuses polémiques liées au dopage impliquant le Maroc, notamment avec l’affaire Clémence Calvin.

“Ce décret permettra non seulement l’application de la loi pour cadrer l’aspect sanitaire, mais surtout de créer l’Agence marocaine de lutte contre le dopage. Il faut savoir que toutes les compétitions sportives au Maroc qui sont organisées sous l’hospice de fédérations ne sont pas contrôlées. En dehors de la fédération d’Athlétisme (FRMA), elles ne disposent même pas de programme de sensibilisation”, nous apprend Yahya Saïdi, journaliste sportif et spécialiste en droit du sport. Les contrôles au sein de la FRMA sont chapeautés par l’Organisation régionale antidopage (ORAD).

La future agence marocaine antidopage pourrait d’ailleurs “voir le jour dans les prochaines semaines”, nous assure Mohamed Majidi, le président de l’ORAD pour l’Afrique du Nord. Cette structure permettra d’optimiser l’encadrement technique ainsi qu’un suivi médical réglementaire des sportifs marocains de haut niveau. “Aujourd’hui, ces suivis sont quasiment absents du monde sportif au Maroc. Maintenant, il faut que cette agence soit dotée de moyens à hauteur de ses ambitions. La loi de finances 2020 déterminera le budget alloué à cette dernière. Les estimations se chiffreraient entre 150 et 200 millions de dirhams annuellement”, précise Yahya Saïdi.

Source: Brian Brequeville, 30 May 2019, Telquel



Kenya deports foreigners involved in illegal gambling

This comes a day after a review of foreigners’ working permits who had applied to conduct other businesses, but ended up investing in the betting industry. Kenya has deported 17 foreigners involved in unlawful gambling business in the country in an effort to crack down on illegal betting. Tuesday’s deportations came a day after Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i directed the Immigration PS Gordon Kihalangwa to review working permits of foreigners who had applied to conduct other businesses, but ended up investing in the betting industry, the East African reported. The deported include Chinese, Turkish and Spanish nationals, said the Wednesday report.

Source: African News Agency (ANA), 22 May 2019, The Citizen


Malaysian Government Moves to Tackle Illegal Gambling

Malaysia’s legal NFOs have seen improved financial performance thanks to police’s intensified efforts to crack down on their illegal counterparts. The government of Malaysia has stepped up efforts to tackle illegal gambling operations taking place on the territory of the country, The Edge Markets reports citing information from people familiar with the matter.

It has emerged that the government together with representatives from the nation’s Ministry of Finance, the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission, Bank Negara Malaysia, and the local police, have met with authorized gambling operators in Putrajaya and have discussed over the course of several days possible measures that can be introduced to combat illegal gambling.

A gaming operator who attended the meetings revealed that Malaysian policymakers are “seriously looking into changing gaming laws” in order to intensify their crackdown on illegal gambling. The operator went on to say that the government has engaged in talks with industry stakeholders in order to gain better understanding of the “operating landscape.”

Gambling in Malaysia is currently regulated under the country’s Lotteries Act 1952, Common Gaming Houses Act 1953, Betting Act 1953, and Pool Betting Act 1967. However, it seems that the government has recognized the need for revised and updated regulations that should be crafted in line with the current gambling reality in the country.

According to sources, illegal number forecast operators (NFOs) will be the main target of the pending crackdown. The operator who attended the recent meeting with the government said that legal NFOs have been pressing for stricter policies against their illegal counterparts.

Malaysia’s illegal NFO market is estimated to be two to three times larger than the regulated one. However, legal operators saw improvement in their performance during the quarter ended March 31, 2019, after the local police and competent government agencies have intensified their efforts against illegal gambling operations.

It has also become known that legal NFOs are pressing for curbs that would affect not only their illegal counterparts but also gamblers who engage in illegal activities. Such gambling customers can thus face fines and prison time, if the government introduces measures targeted at them.

Listed NFOs Magnum and Berjaya Sports Toto (BToto) both reported decent financial results during the most recent quarter, a report by AllianceDBS Research says. Analysts also point out that the improved performance could be attributed to “stricter enforcement by the authorities to clamp down on illegal NFOs.” The crackdown on such unauthorized operations has become particularly intense in the second half of the 2018 financial year.

Source: 21 May 2019, Casino News


113 detained in crackdown on gambling

In a nationwide sweep late Saturday, police and gendarme troops launched a crackdown on gamblers. A total of 113 suspects were detained while 709 people wanted for various crimes were captured in the crackdown on illegal gambling dens.

More than 28,000 police and gendarme officers raided more than 20,000 locations, from coffeehouses to offices of associations in operations. Illegal gambling organizers often operate out of coffeehouses, a popular hangout for a majority of the nation, and they often pose as associations or unions to avoid suspicion.

A gang in southern Turkey made headlines for changing the title of a fake association they set up countless times to continue gambling despite police operations almost every week. In most cases, gamblers get away with fines due to legal loopholes.

In the weekend's operations, police fined 1,646 people, as well as 325 locations for secretly hosting gamblers. Seventy-seven workplaces used as illegal casinos were shut down. Gambling was banned in Turkey in 1998 but illegal gambling houses survive to this day.

Source: 27 May 2019, Daily Sabah



Russia faces new Olympics ban over doping

Russia is facing a ban from the 2020 Olympics over allegations that its top athletics officials oversaw the cover-up of a doping offence by a high jumper who had been tipped to win gold at the Games. The incident has led to an investigation that could undermine efforts by Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, to persuade the world that his country’s scandal-hit athletics team should be allowed back into international competition. Sources have told The Sunday Times that officials from the Russian Athletics Federation conspired to help Danil Lysenko, the world indoor high jump champion, avoid a ban for failing to inform drug testers about his whereabouts last year. [...]

Source: George Arbuthnott and Jonathan Calvert | Insight, 2 June 2019, The Times



Australian portal to protect integrity of Para sport

Protecting the integrity of classification is the objective behind a new online course unveiled by Paralympics Australia. Completion of the course will be a selection requirement for all 2020 Australian Paralympic Team members - a strong sign from Paralympics Australia that the issue is being seriously addressed. Classification in Paralympic sport is the process of grouping athletes together for fair competition based on their activity limitations within each sport. Much like doping, misconduct in classification is an ever-present threat. The online course, developed by Paralympics Australia in collaboration with Australian Sports Anti-doping Authority (ASADA), will begin rolling out this week to more than 600 athletes, coaches, medical staff and administrators currently aiming for 2020 selection.

We are proud to be one of first National Paralympic Committees in the world to develop such a course like this and it’s our hope that it will provide clarity to all Australian Team members on the importance of the classification,” Paralympics Australia Chief Executive Officer Lynne Anderson said. “Integrity in Australian sport has been a major talking point recently and Paralympic sport is not immune.“ By introducing this mandatory course, we are sending a clear message that every member of our Paralympic Team in Tokyo must know the rules, abide by the rules or face the consequences. “Classification is the cornerstone of Paralympic sport and when classification rules are not respected, everyone suffers,” Anderson added.

Hosted on ASADA’s e-learning platform, the course outlines the classification process; the requirements of athletes, coaches and support staff to comply; training on ethical decision making; and an overview of penalties for non-compliance. It also specifically targets intentional misrepresentation, the banned practice of knowingly deceiving, disrupting or misleading the classification panel in any way. It is considered the most serious offence during the classification process and penalties can be severe. [...]

Source: Paralympics Australia, 2 June 2019, Paralympic


Finnish Police, Communications Authority Launch Illegal Gambling Ads Crackdown

Finnish TV channels and radio stations could lose their licenses if found to be airing adverts of illegal casino, betting operations. Finland’s National Police Board and the Finnish Transport and Communications Authority (Traficom) said earlier this week that they would step up efforts to crack down on TV and radio ads of illegal gambling operations.

Under Finnish law, the state-run Veikkaus is the only operator authorized to provide gambling services on the territory of the Scandinavian nation and the only one that is allowed to advertise its products across Finnish media.

The company was formed in early 2017 through the merger of three operators – horse racing operator Fintoto, Finland’s Slot Machine Association (RAY), and lottery operator Veikkaus. The Finnish gambling monopoly’s operations have suffered for years from international operators who have been luring customers away from regulated operations, despite the rules and regulations in place.

Local news outlet Yle reported earlier this week that the Police Board and Traficom’s looming clampdown would affect not only unlicensed gambling operators, but also TV channels and radio stations that air gambling adverts of unlicensed operators. A TV channel or a radio station can thus have their licenses revoked by watchdogs, if they are caught to have repeatedly violated regulations concerning the promotion of gambling products.

Health and Welfare Institute Demands Stricter Rules News about the Police Board and Traficom joining forces to clamp down on ads of unlicensed gambling products arrive shortly after the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare – Terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitos (THL) – urged Veikkaus to bring its marketing campaigns in line with the nation’s existing health policy communications.

According to THL, the wording of the gambling operator’s ads sends messages that do not provide enough information about the risks associated with gambling, but only encourage people to gamble. The Institute further elaborated that gambling ads should be treated and therefore regulated in the same manner as alcohol and tobacco ads, that is products that carry a high risk of harming consumers.

THL also noted that measures restricting Veikkaus’ marketing activities should be introduced. With annual marketing budget of €50 million, the gambling operator is one of Finland’s largest advertisers.

Recent Survey Says Lawmakers, Veikkaus Not Doing Enough to Protect Gamblers

According to the results of a recent survey commissioned by the nation’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and conducted by Statistic Finland, Helsinki University, and problem gambling prevention group Peliklinikka, there have been certain gambling-related issues that have deepened over the past several years.

The survey’s results showed that while the number of problem gamblers has declined, the situation of people showing excessive gambling habits has worsened and intensified over the past two years. One of the reasons driving that trend is the fact that more and more people prefer gambling online to going to nearby supermarkets, bars, and casinos where they can gamble on regulated gambling machines.

Earlier this year, residents of the country started a petition, urging Veikkaus to remove its gambling machines from grocery stores and petrol stations. THL has, too, previously reached out to the operator with a similar demand. Veikkaus Ups Its Online Game

While it is still unknown what Veikkaus will do about the growing concerns over its gambling machines, the company has revealed that it indeed intends to reshuffle its business by reducing its table gaming operations across Finnish restaurants and boosting its digital gambling arm. The move comes as part of Veikkaus’ strategy to present local gamblers with a competitive product that will lure them away from unlicensed international operators.

The company has said that it plans to invest between €4 million and €8 million into adding new online casino games and refurbishing its online gambling business. As part of the reshuffle, Veikkaus forged late last year content supply deals with NetEnt and Yggdrasil Gaming. The operator is set to go live with games by the two suppliers in the coming months.

Source: 25 May 2019, Casino News


Malta Gaming Authority pens new Memorandum of Understanding with police

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the island’s police force in a move to minimise illegal gambling activities in the industry.

The MoU, which will see the MGA and the police collaborate with one another, will place an emphasis upon the exchange of information regarding gaming operations as well as information on potential operations where intervention is needed.

Apart from having a closer collaboration, through this MoU, both parties are also agreeing to share their respective knowledge and to formally provide technical training to each other,” MGA chief executive Heathcliff Farrugia explained.

This agreement is a testament to the ongoing efforts of the two entities in continuing their fight against illegal gaming activities in Malta.

The regulator has been increasingly cracking down on illegal gambling activities in recent years, having recently revoked Wish Me Luck Ltd’s gaming licence. A number of other operators, including Neptune Entertainment and Triton Gaming, also had their licences cancelled earlier in the year for being in contravention with the island’s gaming laws.

Police commissioner Lawrence Cutajar added: “The signing of this MoU with the MGA is one in a string of initiatives which the Malta Police Force under my charge has embarked upon over the past months aimed at combating criminality in general whilst it goes to show our strong commitment to tackle two of the most challenging crime categories, namely financial and computer-related crime.

Source: Erin-Marie Gallagher, 21 May 2019, Calvin Ayre


Players hear of match-fixing risks ahead of Women's World Cup

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Norway’s preparations for the Women’s World Cup in France took a turn last week when the players were given a presentation about what to do if they are approached to fix a match. The session took place at their pre-tournament training camp in Oslo at the behest of world governing body FIFA, who are insisting all 24 nations taking part in the World Cup inform their players of the risks involved. Though it is considered highly unlikely that their players would be approached to fix a game at such a high-profile event, the players still need to be aware, the Norwegian FA’s legal advisor Emil Waters told Reuters. “My experience is that the players and team leaders have a great understanding for the necessity of knowing about the problems related to match-fixing and other questions related to gambling,” Waters said. “The information to the players was explained simply and based on the three headlines that FIFA have brought up. They are recognize and be alert to any approach, resist by saying no to match manipulation, and do your duty by reporting any approach.” There have been several high-profile match-fixing trials in Nordic soccer leagues in recent years, with poorly-paid players in the lower divisions offered bribes by fixers. Players in the women’s game earn a fraction of the wages of their male counterparts, leading to fears that they could be targeted. “It’s important to be crystal-clear about the responsibilities one has, and the most important one is to report it if you are contacted by anyone seeking to affect a game,” Waters said. The Women’s World Cup begins on June 7 when hosts France meet South Korea in Paris, with Group A rivals Norway taking on Nigeria the following day.

Source: Reporting by Philip O'Connor; Editing by Christian Radnedge, 29 May 2019, Reuters


Sri Lanka

Sports Federations Society formed to fight corruption

Ten leading sports organizations in Sri Lanka launched a movement named the Association of Sports Federations Society (ASFS) last Wednesday in Colombo in the presence of the Director General of the Sports Ministry Dhammika Muthugala.

The aim of the newly formed body is to combine all administrators of sports bodies to introduce a multi sports culture in the country while promoting sports to reach higher levels to achieve international standards while battling corruption.

Muthugala addressing the gathering stated that Sri Lanka had failed in the past few years in all sectors of sports.

It is highly visible that our sportsmen and women have failed due to mismanagement by governing bodies connected with sports. They pay attention only to a selected area covering the Colombo suburbs rather than moving to the outstations to find the best talent available and bring them to higher levels,” said Muthugala.

He said that parents of sportsmen and women come to him requesting for air tickets and since September last year the Sports Ministry had spent a sum of R. 12 million on air tickets alone which he said has been brought down to Rs.1.2 million.

Muthugala said there was enough money allocated for sports development which has been utilized by officials for foreign tours.

The money utilized for foreign travel can be minimized and channeled towards a better cause for the development of sportsmen and women,” Muthugala said.

He revealed that Rs. 75 million had been allocated for the Kreeda Shakthi project but only a million rupees had been used thereby neglecting the need to enlist expert foreign coaches.

Founder president of the ASFS Rohan Fernando said that his organization would promote sports in the country minus corruption for a healthy and disciplined society.

The ASFS is open to all sports governing bodies and the public who need to get involved in sports as well as eradicate corruption in sports,” said Fernando.

The general secretary is Prithi Perera while the treasurer is Ajith Siyabalapitiya.

The Founder members are Sri Lanka Archery Association, Sri Lanka Athletics Association, Sri Lanka Boxing Federation, Sri Lanka Canoeing Association, Sri Lanka Fencing Association, Sri Lanka Football Federation, Sri Lanka Modern Penthathlon Association, Sri Lanka Rowing Association, Equestrian Federation and Winter Sports Association.

Source: Bernard Perera, 2 June 2019, The Sunday Observer


Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)

FIFA restoring "corruption" to ethics code after criticism

LONDON (AP) — FIFA is restoring the offense of “corruption” to its code of ethics, almost one year after facing criticism over the symbolic removal of the term.

The Associated Press has seen a proposal that will be presented to the FIFA Council meeting next month showing section 27 will become “Bribery and corruption”, rather than the heading just being “Bribery.”

The eye-catching adjustment to the code last June that removed “corruption” from the English version turned into an uneasy episode for a governing body trying to clean up its image after a wave of corruption cases against soccer officials in recent years, including criminal prosecutions and jail sentences.

FIFA said “corruption” was removed for “reasons of language clarity” but president Gianni Infantino later blamed a “misunderstanding” for the revision which didn’t change the nature of offenses that can be prosecuted.

The about-turn on the need for “corruption” to be in the code is due to be completed when FIFA Council members approve amendments at a meeting in Paris in two weeks’ time.

FIFA manages inadvertently to gut the impact of its few compliance improvements by appearing to do them grudgingly, or only after they’ve been caught out,” former FIFA governance committee member Alexandra Wrage told the AP on Friday. “This is a good move, of course, but it comes late and seems half-hearted.

“FIFA could do so much more to improve public confidence if the organization would take a leadership role on governance, rather than dragging reluctantly behind.

But the updated code also introduces more stringent rules over who can sit on the ethics committees which investigate and rule on cases.

The requirement was previously that members only did not belong to other FIFA bodies. But now the organization says ethics committee members “shall not belong to any other FIFA, Confederation or Member Association bodies, other than to similar judicial bodies at confederation national level.

But the investigatory chamber membership currently includes Gibraltar federation president Michael Llamas and Honduras federation general secretary Jose Ernesto Mejia.

The positions of Estonia federation president Aivar Pohlak and Costa Rica general secretary Margarita Echeverría on the adjudicatory chamber could also be affected.

The latest ethics case verdict was announced by FIFA on Friday, banishing the former president of South Sudan’s soccer federation from the game.

Chabur Goc Alei was banned for 10 years and fined 500,000 Swiss francs ($499,000) for misappropriating funds from his federation’s annual grant from Zurich, and development project money in 2014 and 2015. Alei was also implicated in paying other soccer officials from the misused FIFA money.

The adjudicatory chamber is chaired by Greek judge Vassilios Skouris and Colombian lawyer Maria Claudia Rojas leads the investigatory branch.

Source: AP, 24 May 2019, FoxSports



Fake scouts exploit football dreams in Nigeria

An investigation by BBC’s Gist Nigeria programme has found that fake agents are targeting young footballers - luring them with false promises of fame and fortune. Some have paid their way to Europe dreaming of an international career - only to be left stranded without money or hope. Video producer: Ajoke Ulohotse

Source: 23 May 2019, BBC




France-Le directeur général de BeIN en examen pour corruption

PARIS, 21 mai (Reuters) - Le directeur général du groupe qatari BeIN, Youssef al-Obaidly, a été mis en examen le 28 mars dans le cadre des investigations sur une vaste affaire de corruption pour l'attribution de grands événements sportifs, a-t-on déclaré mardi de source judiciaire, confirmant une information du Monde.

Ce proche du président du Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), Nasser al-Khelaïfi, est poursuivi pour "corruption active" pour sa participation présumée au versement d'importantes sommes à une société du sénégalais Papa Massata Diack, fils de l'ex-patron de la fédération internationale d'athlétisme (IAAF) Lamine Diack.

Ces deux hommes sont soupçonnés d'être au coeur d'une organisation de corruption qui va de la dissimulation de cas de dopage contre paiement au trafic d'influence pour l'attribution de grands événements sportifs comme les Jeux olympiques ou de droits marketing ou télévisuels liés à ces événements.

Le Parquet national financier (PNF) a demandé leur renvoi devant un tribunal pour corruption et blanchiment de corruption, pour avoir retardé contre paiement la procédure de sanction d'athlètes soupçonnés de dopage, notamment russes.

Selon la même source judiciaire, un nouveau mandat d'arrêt international a été lancé à l'encontre de Papa Massata Diack, réfugié dans son pays, le Sénégal.

Le PNF a par ailleurs ouvert une information judiciaire sur un deuxième volet, découvert à la faveur de l'enquête sur le dossier dopage russe et aux ramifications beaucoup plus vastes, conduisant notamment au Japon.

En l'espèce, la justice soupçonne une société appartenant à Nasser al-Khelaïfi et à son frère Khalid, Oryx Qatar Sports Investments (Oryx QSI), d'avoir versé 3,5 millions de dollars en 2011 à celle de Papa Massata Diack, Pamodzi Sports consulting, pour obtenir les championnats du monde d'athlétisme dans cet émirat du Golfe grâce à l'entremise de Lamine Diack.

Selon Le Monde, les juges chargés du dossier reprochent à Youssef al-Obaidly d'avoir négocié l'acquisition de droits télévisuels et marketing en échange, notamment, de votes de membres de l'IAAF en faveur de la candidature du Qatar pour l'organisation des mondiaux d'athlétisme.

Dans une déclaration publiée par Le Monde, le dirigeant de BeIN qualifie les accusations portées contre lui de "hautement infondées et sans consistance" et assure qu'elles seront "intégralement et catégoriquement contestées".

Nasser al-Khelaïfi a pour sa part été entendu en tant que témoin assisté le 20 mars. (Emmanuel Jarry)

Source: 21 May 2019, Zone Bourse

New Zealand

Senior New Zealand football official banned by FIFA for bribery and corruption

A senior New Zealand football figure has been banned for bribery and corruption. Former FIFA committee member and Oceania Football secretary general Tai Nicholas has been slapped with an eight-year ban from all football-related activities and fined $75,000 by FIFA.

An investigation by world football’s independent ethics committee has found Nicholas guilty of misappropriating FIFA money, as well as offering and accepting gifts and other benefits.

The sum of money – and the gifts involved – have not been made clear.

For years, Nicholas has not only been one of the most powerful people in Kiwi football, but in world sport. Previously the long-term OFC secretary general, he also held privileged positions on FIFA committees in which he represented New Zealand.

Nicholas’ role also meant he regularly attended FIFA’s annual congress in Zurich, Switzerland, where the sport’s biggest powerbrokers decide the future of the game.

Nicholas quit as OFC secretary general last year.

FIFA’s announcement this morning follows it freezing $13.3m funding to the OFC for the development of a “Home of Football” sports facility in Auckland.

In a statement, FIFA said Nicholas had breached its code of ethics for bribery and corruption.

The adjudicatory chamber of the Independent Ethics Committee has found Mr Tai Nicholas, former General Secretary of the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) and former FIFA standing committee member, guilty of having misappropriated FIFA funds, as well as having offered and accepted gifts or other benefits, in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics,” the statement said.

The investigation into Mr Nicholas concerned the misappropriation of FIFA funds allocated to the OFC between 2014 and 2017 in relation to the OFC Home of Football, as well as to various undue benefits accepted from or offered to several football officials and other individuals.

“In its decision, the adjudicatory chamber found that Mr Nicholas had breached art. 21 par. 2 of the 2012 edition of the FIFA Code of Ethics, (Bribery and corruption) and art. 20 of the 2018 edition (Offering and accepting gifts or other benefits), and sanctioned him with a ban from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level for eight years. In addition, a fine of CHF 50,000 has been imposed on Mr Nicholas.

“The decision was notified to Mr Nicholas today, the date on which the ban comes into force.

Source: Simon Plumb, 30 May 2019, News Now


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