In this edition of the bi-weekly bulletin, we focus on several match-fixing allegations in Europe and Asia. Most of the Asian cases date back years where many of the match-fixing events took place. Russia, after its ban from the Olympics, has passed a new anti-doping law that will criminalize the inducement to doping activities by coaches and medical staff. Consequences include up to three years of prison or a fine up to 300,000 rubles.
The Integrity in Sports Unit 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.
A total of 84 people sat in the dock on Monday for a criminal trial relating to soccer match-fixing between 2009 and 2011. Those facing trial include soccer club officials, players and referees. According to the indictment ruling, a key role in the affair was played by the former president of Olympiakos Volos Achilleas Beos, the elected mayor of Volos currently on suspension due to the criminal charges levelled against him. The list of 69 witnesses in the trial include Olympiakos president Vangelis Marinakis who had originally faced charges in the affair but was subsequently exempted.
Source: "Eighty-four suspects in the dock for match-fixing", 31 October 2016, Kathimerini, https://www.ekathimerini.com/213262/article/ekathimerini/news/eighty-four-suspects-in-the-dock-for-match-fixing
The Asian Football Confederation said on Monday it had provisionally suspended four Laos national-team members as it investigates suspected manipulation of "multiple matches" going back years. The players -- Saynakhonevieng Phommapanya, Chintana Souksavath, Moukda Souksavath and Phatthana Syvilay -- were provisionally suspended for 60 days for "various violations... related to suspected match manipulation," the AFC said in a statement. The Kuala Lumpur-based federation added that other footballers also were under investigation, without naming them. All four of those suspended were active for the ongoing AFC Solidarity Cup -- a competition of teams eliminated from World Cup and Asian Cup contention -- and had competed in Laos's first game last week, a 2-1 victory over Sri Lanka, the AFC said. They were sidelined because "their ongoing participation provided a direct threat to the integrity of the competition," it said. "The provisional suspensions relate not only to the AFC Solidarity Cup but also to suspected manipulation of multiple matches committed by the representative teams of Laos since 2010.”The investigation is ongoing and not limited to those players provisionally suspended." The AFC gave no further details.
Source: "Laos footballers suspended in match-fixing probe", 7 November 2016, The West Australian https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/33130691/laos-footballers-suspended-in-match-fixing-probe/#page1
The coach of Russian top-flight club Ural Yekaterinburg resigned on Tuesday, two days after a 4-1 home defeat to Terek Grozny which has raised suspicions of match-fixing. Vadim Skripchenko, a former Belarus international who had been in charge of Ural since July 2015, said at a press conference that his decision was "nothing to do with the match against Grozny." Ural are currently fourth from bottom in the Russian Premier League with just nine points from 12 games. Against Terek they had taken the lead but conceded an equaliser just before half-time and then collapsed after the break. Three of Terek's goals came from flagrant defensive errors. Russian media reported that the match was the subject of unusual betting patterns -- with the score at 1-1 at half-time, odds for a Ural win suddenly increased while odds on Terek, who are fourth in the table, plunged. Such a disparity in the odds indicates that bookmakers believed the match to be fixed. Vitaly Mutko, Russia's Sports Minister who is also president of the Russian Football Federation, announced after the match that an investigation had been opened but stated a short while later that no irregularities had been found. "It was just an average league match. Frankly speaking I don't see any reason for fixing this match," he said. The two clubs themselves rejected suggestions of match-fixing. Meanwhile, a lawyer representing the interests of Russian gamblers told Sport FM radio that his clients had taken legal action against the Russian public prosecutor as the match had been "clearly rigged." "We will ask the bookmakers why they didn't stop taking bets when they realised the match was suspect," said Roman Lalayan. Skripchenko, meanwhile, has been linked with the vacant coaching past at Krylia Sovetov Samara after Belgian coach Frank Vercauteren was sacked on Monday.
Source: "Ural Yekaterinburg coach quits amid match-fixing suspicions", 2 November 2016, Business Recorder, https://www.brecorder.com/sports/football/325978-ural-yekaterinburg-coach-quits-amid-match-fixing-suspicions.html
South Korean police have accused 21 people, including professional baseball players, brokers and others, of involvement in alleged match-fixing schemes. In a statement Monday, police said the 21 includes two pitchers who allegedly deliberately allowed walks in certain innings in 2014 games in return for money from brokers. The two pitchers are Yoo Chang-sik of Kia Tigers and Lee Sung-min of Lotte Giants. Yoo played for Hanwha Eagles and Lee for NC Dinos at the time of their alleged schemes, according to police. Police accused another NC Dinos player, identified only by the surname Kim, of trying to persuade his teammates to take part in match-fixing before being released from his club. Both Lee and Kim confessed to NC Dinos officials about their match-fixing efforts later in 2014. The team released Kim but retained Lee before trading him to KT Wiz for 1 billion won ($875,000), police said. Lee eventually moved to Lotte Giants. Police said they'll ask prosecutors to indict all 21 people, who also include two NC Dinos officials involved in Lee's trade and brokers who gave money to Yoo and Lee. South Korea's major professional sports leagues, including baseball and soccer, have been rocked by match-fixing scandals in recent years that have led to convictions and lifetime bans for some players and coaches. In August, a South Korean court handed down a suspended two-year prison term to another NC pitcher for deliberately allowing or attempting to allow walks in four games last season. A broker involved in the scheme was sentenced to one year in prison.
Source: "21 accused of baseball match-fixing in South Korea", 7 November 2016, ESPN, https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/17990291/21-accused-match-fixing-schemes-s-korea
Russian State Duma has passed a new anti-doping law that will criminalize the inducement to doping activities by coaches and medical staff. In some cases, there will be prison terms of up to three years. The law, which was adopted by the Russian Parliament in a third reading Thursday, will still need to be approved by senators in the Federation Council and President Vladimir Putin to come into force. According to the law, “the inducement to use any substances or methods that are prohibited in sport” will be punished by a fine of up to 300,000 rubles (about $4,700) or the equivalent of six months’ salary, and the person will be barred from holding certain positions in sporting organizations for three years. If the criminal act was made by a group of people by preliminary agreement, it can lead to a fine of 500,000 rubles ($7,700) or a prison term of up to a year, without the right to work in certain positions in sports for three years. In case doping-related activities have led to the death or serious health problems for an underage athlete, the convicted person can receive a jail term of up to three years. In any of the cases, judges will be able to ban the convicted person from working in sports for up to five years. The idea of criminal responsibility for doping was first announced during the International Sports Forum "Russia – Country of Sports" in the middle of October, by then-Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, who now holds the position of deputy prime minister for sport. A source in the World Anti-Doping Agency has confirmed to TASS that the organization supports the Russian decision to adopt the anti-doping laws inside the country. “WADA and all of the anti-doping community calls for governments around the world to adopt the laws that will raise the level of responsibility for those who involved in the illegal distribution of banned substances, and those who hand them to the athletes. Adopting such laws shows that countries respect the World Anti-Doping Code,” the source said. However, WADA stressed that it “doesn’t see the criminal responsibility as the necessary move” in this regard.
Source: "Russia Passes Anti-Doping Bill with Prison Sentences for Coaches", 3 November 2016, Reuters, https://www.rt.com/sport/365269-russia-new-anti-doping-law/
INTEGRITY IN SPORT EVENTS
EU Commission BETMONITARLERT Workshop
21 November 2016 Paris, France
The European Commission research programme BETMONITALERT is organising a workshop for experts titled “Monitoring systems of sports betting and warning mechanisms between public and private actors.” This will take place on Monday 21 November 2016 in Paris, France
1 December 2016 Kiev, Ukraine
The INTERPOL Integrity in Sports Unit and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will host a National Workshop in Kiev, Ukraine addressed to Law Enforcement, Sport federations, prosecutors, and the betting industry.
International Sport Convention
Sports Integrity Conference
7-8 December 2016 Geneva, Switzerland
The International Sports Convention is hosting a sports convention on 7-8 December 2016 at the Palexpo Center, Geneva, Switzerland. This conference is supported by the World Lottery Association and European Lottery. For further information and registration, please refer to the provided link: https://iscgeneva.com/conferences-and-masterclasses/conferences/sports-integrity/
Sports Integrity Forum, World Rugby
14 November 2016 London, Great Britain
The World Rugby Sports Integrity Forum will bring together the world's leaders in the field across sport, policing, government, the betting industry and civil society. The Forum will incorporate presentations, debate and discussion of best practice learnings, recent case studies, prevention and detection models, good governance and safe event planning templates.
- AFC Solidarity Cup Anti-Corruption Anti-Doping Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Baseball Betting Council of Europe Disciplinary European Commission FIFA Football Governance Integrity International Olympic Committee (IOC) INTERPOL Malaysia Match-Fixing Olympic Paralympic Russia South Korea United Kingdom (UK) World Rugby