INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin 26 May 2020 - 8 June 2020

Interpol

INVESTIGATIONS

Sri Lanka

Three cricketers under ICC investigation for match-fixing: Sri Lanka Sports Minister

At least three Sri Lankan cricketers are being currently probed by the International Cricket Council for match-fixing, Sports Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said here on Wednesday. Alahapperuma did not mention if they were former or current players. “We are sorry to see that sports had fallen short of discipline and character,” he said. However, Sri Lanka Cricket insisted no current players were involved in the ICC investigation. “SLC strongly believes that what the honourable minister actually mentioned was about an investigation launched by the ICC anti-corruption unit against three former Sri Lanka players and not the current national players,” a SLC statement said.

Commenting on the drug charge faced by fast bowler Shehan Madushanka, Alahapperuma said “it was sad and the country had placed high hopes on him”. Madushanka was detained by Sri Lankan police last week on charge of possessing heroin. Subsequently, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) suspended his contract. Alahapperuma said the government would soon focus on the dropping standards of cricket at the school level.

It has come to light that schools are no longer producing quality players. At a recent meeting with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, greats such as Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Sanath Jayasuriya highlighted the need to resurrect cricket at the grass-root level.

Source: 4 June 2020,

Hindustan times

Cricket

https://www.hindustantimes.com/cricket/three-cricketers-under-icc-investigation-for-match-fixing-sri-lanka-sports-minister/storyYDreTBerjxyzDAquMqLugI.html

SENTENCES/SANCTIONS

Australia

Brisbane greyhound Trainer disqualified for life

Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) Stewards have disqualified a Brisbane greyhound racing Trainer for life on corruption, match fixing and drugs breaches. The QRIC imposed an interim suspension of Victor Osborn’s licence to train in February last year pending the outcome of Queensland Racing Crime Squad criminal charges against him.

Mr Osborn was prosecuted in the Brisbane Magistrates Court in August last year after he pleaded guilty to five criminal offences under the Criminal Code, the Drugs Misuse Act, the Health (drugs and poisons) Regulation and the Racing Integrity Act. QRIC Stewards concluded an Inquiry on 15 May 2020 in Mr Osborn’s absence after several failed attempts to contact him.

Mr Osborn was found guilty of three breaches of the rules of racing:

• GAR 86(o) On 16 January 2019 and 3 February 2019 Mr Osborn had in the opinion of Stewards done a thing that is corrupt, in approaching a Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club employee, with the intent to procure them to engage in match-fixing. • GAR 86(q) On 16 January 2019 and 3 February 2019 Mr Osborn engaged in conduct that was detrimental to the interest, welfare, image, control and promotion of greyhound racing. • GAR 79A(7) On 4 February 2019, Mr Osborn was found to have in his possession at his registered address, the permanently banned substance Myo-Inositol Trispyrophosphate (ITPP).

Stewards handed down two life disqualifications and a five year disqualification noting the moral abhorrence and seriousness of his conduct which jeopardised racing integrity.

Source: 1 June 2020,

The Sports integrity Initiative Racing

https://www.sportsintegrityinitiative.com/brisbane-greyhound-trainer-disqualified-for-life/

Haiti

FIFA suspends Haiti football chief accused of rape

FIFA on Monday suspended the president of Haiti's football federation for 90 days pending an investigation into allegations he sexually abused teenage girls at the national training center.

Yves Jean-Bart, 73, categorically denies accusations that he raped several young female footballers at a training facility outside Port-au-Prince over the course of the past five years.

"In accordance with articles 84 and 85 of the FIFA Code of Ethics, the investigatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has provisionally banned Mr Yves Jean-Bart, President of the Haitian Football Federation (FHF), from all footballrelated activities at both national and international level, for a period of 90 days," FIFA said Monday in a statement. "This sanction has been imposed in connection with ongoing investigations concerning Mr Jean-Bart. Mr Jean-Bart was notified of the decision today. The provisional sanction comes into force immediately."

Haitian police have launched a probe into the allegations, first revealed late last month, and a judge has already summoned several federation employees to answer questions.

According to young women quoted in an article published by The Guardian in late April, Jean-Bart raped multiple underage players over the years.

Saying they had been pressured to remain silent, the alleged victims told the newspaper on condition of anonymity that at least two underage players had to get abortions after Jean-Bart assaulted them.

"We think that this is a good decision by FIFA because we realized that Yves Jean-Bart and his cartel can overshadow any judicial investigation," said Marie-Rosy Auguste Ducena of the National Network for the Defense of Human Rights (RNDDH).

Criticizing the code of silence that she says hangs over the sports industry, Ducena noted that "rumors of sexual bargains for football benefits have been circulating in the country for a long time." Jean-Bart has led the country's football federation for two decades. His re-election in February for a sixth term was a mere formality -- he ran unopposed.

When contacted by AFP for comment, he did not respond

Source: 26 May 2020,

The Jakarta Post

Football

https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/05/26/fifa-suspends-haiti-football-chief-accused-of-rape.html

BETTING

National Rugby League’s (NRL)

Two Men Charged In Australian Illegal Betting Investigation

The New South Wales Police have arrested two men in connection to an alleged illegal betting scheme for the National Rugby League’s (NRL) Dally M Medal, which recognizes the league’s top coach. These men run a sports technology company that is contracted with the NRL to handle confidential information, and they allegedly used insider knowledge to place wagers. Illegal betting like this happens all over the world, but the only way to monitor for and prevent it is by legalizing and regulating sports betting.

NEW SOUTH WALES, Australia – Two individuals have been detained by the New South Wales Police in connection to an illegal betting incident involving the National Rugby League’s (NRL) 2019 Dally M Medal.

The two men, Joshua Wilson and Ben Trevisiol, have been charged with using confidential information to wager on the results of the award, which recognizes the NRL’s top coach of the season.

Wilson and Trevisiol each placed $10,000 bets on Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy, who ultimately won the award.

They allegedly used insider knowledge of the outcome to place these bets, and also allegedly shared this confidential information with others.

Police claim that the two exchanged text messages discussing how much money they would wager on Bellamy, and that these texts indicated that they knew Bellamy would win.

It is unknown if anyone else used this information to place wagers at this time.

Last week, police executed a search warrant on Wilson and Trevisiol’s company StatEdge—a sports technology company that was reportedly used by the Dally M Award judges to cast their votes.

StatEdge also held other contracts with the NRL covering roster changes and junior competitions.

In their statement on the matter, the New South Wales Police compared the incident to “what [they] see in organized crime syndicates.” How Regulated Sports Betting Helps Prevent Suspicious Wagers

This is far from an isolated incident. Thousands of wagers around the world are placed with inside knowledge every year, which completely undermines the integrity of said bets.

But without the proper infrastructure to regulate and monitor sports betting, the vast majority of these illegal wagers go unpunished.

Well-regulated sportsbooks, whether in an online or retail setting, use sophisticated security algorithms to monitor for suspicious betting activity.

Once recorded, this data can be easily shared with authorities to build a case against the offender.

Without legal, regulated sports betting, people will still find ways to place wagers, but there will be no barriers in place to prevent nefarious actors from exploiting insider knowledge or otherwise abusing the system.

Only 18 states have launched legal sports betting and two dozen have passed sports betting legislation, but there are hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars in sports betting action in every state.

Without a regulated betting platform, people will simply turn to an unregulated one that is ripe for exploitation.

The only way to prevent illegal betting like the kind Wilson and Trevisiol were allegedly involved in is to bring all sports betting action out into the light where it can be properly monitored and enforced.

Source: 28 May 2020,

Legal Sports Betting

Rugby

https://www.legalsportsbetting.com/news/two-men-charged-in-australian-illegal-betting-investigation/

Vietnam

Vietnamese cops bust $2.6bn online gambling ring

Vietnamese police have smashed a massive online card ring with revenues estimated at $2.6 billion, the biggest ever bust of its kind in a country where most gambling is banned but remains rampant.

The site "No Hu" -- roughly translated as 'break the jar' in English -- is wildly popular in Vietnam, with a public fixated by gambling joining on smart phones or desktops.

Players buy credit from agents who pay out in cash if they win, or give loans to punters on a losing streak against collateral like motorbikes and other assets.

There are hundreds of No Hu agents across Hanoi, the capital of the tightly-controlled Communist country, according to a report on Friday detailing the bust in the official newspaper of the city's police force.

Millions of accounts were created for the game and "transactions ran to $110 million a month," the An Ninh Thu Do or "Capital Security Newspaper" said.

The gambling site, which started in 2018, ran several games soaking up money "on an extremely huge scale... (with) a total value estimated at $2.6 billion," the report added.

Sixteen Vietnamese people were arrested in raids, while dozens of mobile phones, ATM cards and SIM cards were also seized.

The report did not say what has happened to the huge sums of money made by the site, which was deactivated on Friday.

"I lost so much money playing games on this site. You might win at first, but the more you play, the more you lose," a player told AFP, requesting not to be named.

Vietnam's communist government has recently started loosening its grip on domestic gambling, allowing Vietnamese to bet in casinos on a trial basis and opening up some sports betting.

However online gambling and private card rooms are banned.

Still, illegal gambling run by both locals and foreigners flourishes.

In July last year, more than 380 Chinese were arrested for taking online wagers from Chinese punters on sports and running an illegal lottery in the country.

And in January this year four people were shot dead at an illegal cockfighting betting ring in southern Vietnam, state media reported, a rare gun homicide in the communist country.

Source: 29 May 2020,

RTL All Sports

https://today.rtl.lu/news/business-and-tech/a/1526041.html

GOOD PRACTICES

FIA

FIA Ethics and Compliance Hotline

Afin de préserver l’intégrité et la réputation du sport automobile et de la mobilité automobile dans le monde, la FIA a mis en place la FIA Ethics and Compliance Hotline.

Cette hotline reflète notre approche de tolérance zéro à l’égard des comportements répréhensibles. Elle est à la disposition de toute personne souhaitant faire part de suspicions légitimes, fondées et documentées de comportements répréhensibles :

Violations présumées des principes éthiques de la FIA ; Problèmes présumés liés à l’intégrité du sport et/ou à la manipulation des compétitions ; Violations présumées du Règlement antidopage de la FIA.

Nous étudierons attentivement vos signalements. Soyez assuré(e) qu’une confidentialité totale sera garantie tout au long du processus.

Notre plateforme est disponible 24 heures sur 24, 7 jours sur 7

Si vous désirez en savoir davantage, découvrez ici comment utiliser la FIA Ethics and Compliance Hotline.

Si vous souhaitez effectuer un signalement ou simplement poser une question, veuillez accéder à la FIA Ethics and Compliance Hotline.

Source: 2 June 2020,

FIA Racing

https://www.fia.com/fr/fia-ethics-and-compliance-hotline

INTEGRITY IN SPORT EVENTS

GLMS

GLMS-EL-WLA Sports Integrity Webinar

Following the unprecedented health crisis unlike one the world has seen in modern history, the global lottery community (Global Lottery Monitoring System – European Lotteries – World Lottery Association) will be organizing its first joint sport integrity webinar in a special 3-hours-a-day format.

The webinar will address the new normal to which the lotteries, the sport movement, the sports betting sector and public stakeholders will have to adapt in a climate that saw the sport ecosystem slowing down or even coming to a halt. During the pandemic, sports betting operators have been proposing bet opportunities on unusual competitions, triggering specific types of investigations and increasing the level of vigilant monitoring and need for closer co-operation with the law enforcement and sports sectors.

Panels and presentations will include information on the monitoring activities and trends over the last three months and how lotteries from East to West and other stakeholders have been dealing with this unprecedented situation.

The sessions will also present industry leaders’ prominent opinions on how the sport movement, law enforcement agencies and lotteries have been working together effectively in investigations and awareness-raising activities, facilitated by GLMS. The webinar will also address the recent growth of the US sports betting sector and the responses to the definition of recovery and post COVID-19 recovery strategies .

Topics:

GLMS during the pandemic: Gearing up for a new normal in the world of sports integrity Impact of COVID-19 on the Lottery Sector & Lotteries in the immediate future Working with LEA to combat criminal aspects of sports manipulations Working with the sport movement to protect sports integrity The rise of e-sports amidst COVID-19 Sports betting in the US Sports betting product strategies Th full programme is forthcoming!

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

At a laptop near you!

Source: 8 June 2020,

GLMS All Sports

https://glms-sport.org/upcoming-events/

MATCH FIXING

China

Newbee issue lawyer notice to CDA asking for evidence for the match-fixing allegations

Newbee, The International champion caliber organization, got banned by all major Chinese tournament organizers and got excluded from the Chinese DOTA2 Professional Association(CDA) earlier this month, facing match fixing allegations.

The decision was taken after CDA investigated Newbee’s matches and decided that they were clearly compromising the competitive integrity by being involved in betting on their own games. According to the, the evidence was also sent to Valve and Perfect World, the Chinese publisher for Dota 2, for further actions

However, in the two-week time since CDA made their announcement, no other updates came from the Dota 2 developer. In the meantime, Newbee made public a lawyer letter of demand sent to CDA, as according to the organization they have never been shown the proofs CDA claims to have. More than that, they state that the players interviewed by CDA were threatened during the interviews and tricked to make untruthful and unfavorable statements

Newbee also mentions that the CDA decision was issued to the public view even before the interviews were conducted, which they say it was done to discredit Newbee. “1. It can be deducted from the timeline that the alliance issued the announcement before the interviews were over, which is obviously unconventional and suspected of maliciously discrediting the client;

2. According to the team members, they were intimidated by the other party during the interviews;

3. Throughout the interview process, the team members repeatedly asked the association to provide evidence for the matchfixing allegations but the staff did not show any evidence from beginning to end, while they induced the players to make unfavorable statements with intimidation and temptation;

4. After the interview, each player sent an appeal application to the league twice, but no response was received

The association’s behaviors above have triggered negative comments on our club and members in the public, making the club and members suffer from all kinds of blame. In view of the situation, the club has a reason to believe that there is a possibility that some members in the association were maliciously infringing the reputation of the trustor and our members.

To seek a proper solution, the trustor demands the association to provide the club with the evidence related to the announcement above within 3 days after the association receives this notice and revoke all the relevant announcements CDA have posted online before this whole matter is ascertained.”

Source: 28 May 2020,

VPesports eSports

https://www.vpesports.com/dota2/newbee-issue-lawyer-notice-to-cda-asking-for-evidence-for-the-match-fixing-allegations

China

When China went to war on endemic football corruption

When Tianjin Tianhai surprisingly thrashed Rafael Benitez’s Dalian Yifang 5-1 to stay in the Chinese Super League in November, disgruntled fans were quick to allege corruption — the legacy of a murky past that exploded into scandal 10 years ago.

Benitez, who led Liverpool to the 2005 Champions League title, was perplexed by one of the heaviest defeats of his coaching career, saying: “This is a game that I don’t quite understand.” Despite fan complaints to the Chinese Football Association (CFA), no case was brought and there is no evidence of wrongdoing

But the haste with which some supporters claimed match-fixing was proof that deep scars remain, a decade after a major crackdown on graft that ensnared a string of leading figures in Chinese football.

Allegations of organized gambling, crooked referees and match-fixing had dogged the sport in the world’s most populous country for years.

Coupled with the national side’s poor performances, fans were disillusioned, attendances suffered and sponsors fled.

It was in this climate in January 2010 that Nan Yong, supremo at the CFA, and two other senior CFA figures were hauled in by police on allegations of bribe-taking and match-fixing.

When police raided a Beijing villa belonging to Nan they discovered gold, diamonds and watches that he confessed he accepted from clubs and referees. In a widening corruption investigation, scores of CFA officials, club executives, referees, players and agents were questioned in the following months.

According to some, the crackdown was at the behest of Xi Jinping, the then vice-president of the country who has since become China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong.

Xi has pledged to make China a leading football power

Source: 26 May 2020,

INQUIRER net

Football

https://sports.inquirer.net/395023/when-china-went-to-war-on-endemic-football-corruption

Global

Friendly matches between clubs are wide open for match- fixing

Football matches are coming back after the corona lockdown and so is match-fixing. Steve Menary outlines the problems in stemming the rise of match-fixing in friendly games between clubs: Data scouts with low integrity, lack of monitoring, and federations that do not take responsibility. As football prepares to resume in Europe after the worst of the Covid-19 virus appears to have passed, clubs are beginning their preparations with friendly matches against each other.

After the sport’s enforced absence, these supposedly non-competitive games will be far more important than normal for fans and bookmakers, but also for match-fixers. With little or no football being played during the worst of the virus, match-fixers were left frustrated at the lack of action and the swathe of forthcoming friendlies offer a unique window of opportunity.

Friendly matches are routinely offered on the gambling markets by both more responsible regulated operators and the unlicensed sector, mainly based in Asia, where huge sums are bet on football.

During the worst of the virus, some of the more desperate operators offered bets on soap football. Others offered the Taiwanese university football league or even in some cases bets on deaths from Covid-19. Now, with a rash of friendlies about to be played, well-regulated operators and the unlicensed sector will both have seemingly more credible bets to offer.

However, every year, dozens of European friendly matches come under suspicion for suspicious betting and this trend is rising. In the 2019 edition of the Suspicious Betting Trends in Global Football Report, 2.0 percent of all friendlies analysed in the previous 2018 season were deemed suspicious due to irregular betting movements. The proportion of friendlies deemed suspicious was far higher than the total for all games.

With most leagues cancelled, there has been a surge of matches attracting suspicion in Europe in countries including Armenia and Belarus to Georgia to Russia and Sweden.

Figure 1: Share of suspicious football matches in percent

Match type2017 (%)2018 (%) Friendlies1,202,00 All Games0,730,61

Even more concerning is that players are also reporting fixed matches that do not appear in betting alerts as large amounts of small bets are either placed in High Street bookmakers or on the amorphous Asian markets, where they rarely register.

Despite these facts sporting sanctions are rare if non-existent and in many countries, friendly matches are a largely unsanctioned free-for-all often played in an integrity vacuum.

Data scouts are key to matchfixing So how does this system work and what can be done about the Wild West world of club football friendlies?

In-play betting on all matches is made possible when data scouts attend matches and relay information about incidents – corners, red cards, goals – to data companies. The data companies then sell this information on in real-time to gambling companies, who offer up these friendly matches for bets.

With league matches, fixtures are easy to locate but friendlies are not publicised in the same way, particularly in eastern Europe. So, local data scouts offer to cover these games both for data companies and Asian bookmakers, who sometimes also send their own scouts to matches.

The data companies and Asian bookmakers are reliant on the integrity of these scouts, who can work with clubs planning a fix. Scouts will offer to cover games to get them onto the gambling markets. Once a game is available for betting with one operator, other bookmakers, particularly in Asia, will then also offer the match to try and avoid losing clients.

In this unregulated environment it can be difficult to trust data scouts as the data company Perform Group (now STATS Perform) learned the hard way in 2015.

That year data scouts were essential in helping to perpetrate a scam during the midwinter break in Belarus where a fictional match – a so-called ghost game – was created to fool bookmakers. After that STATS Perform set up its own system where data scouts are vetted and have contracts that prevent them from working for rival companies.

Scouts are often people doing the job on a part-time basis and can be poorly remunerated. The temptation to trick data companies can be hard to resist, and the consequences can be fatal as Chinese students Zhen Xing Yang and his girlfriend Xi Zhou discovered in 2008.

The pair, who were brutally murdered in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England in 2008, were both data scouts and had been delaying transmission of information from English games to Chinese bookmakers by a few seconds so gamblers with knowledge of their activities could bet on events knowing the outcome.

The role of data scouts also came under the spotlight in March 2020 in the Ukraine, where criminal elements arranged and staged ghost games using players pretending to be part of real clubs to fool bookmakers in Asia.

Spotting the fix Before and during games, gambling operators and data companies monitor the odds for games. If the price suddenly shortens, or betting volumes increase for no obvious reason, it suggests a match could have been manipulated and will generate an alert.

On a friendly, this can be more problematic. These matches are not official, so team line-ups are not always available. The strength or weakness of a team is not always clear until after a match kicks off. If the price is then adjusted after kick-off, this can create a sudden shift in the odds and prompt a false alert.

Gambling companies should research suspicious matches. If the gambling companies are regulated and part of a larger body, such as the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) or the Global Lotteries Monitoring System, these bodies will receive information from members about these alerts and information will be passed on to the football authorities.

If the gambling companies are not part of a body like IBIA or simply do not want to co-operate with sports authorities then alerts may not be passed on. Many of the biggest bookmakers operate in Asia and are unregulated as gambling is illegal in a lot of the countries where they are taking bets, usually on football. So, there is no incentive to pass on information about suspicious matches.

Friendlies are mostly ignored by federations After the problems with ghost matches in the Ukraine, UEFA issued a warning about potential problems with friendlies. As part of this warning, UEFA asked national federations if clubs informed them of friendlies.

In Austria, which stages nearly 300 club friendlies every summer, the Austrian football federation regulates friendlies and records all matches. In neighbouring Germany, the Bundesliga and the German Football Association (DfB) also record matches and use separate companies to monitor friendlies played by all clubs in the top two divisions. However, in many other European countries, particularly in Eastern Europe, friendlies are virtually ignored

National federations often only find out about their clubs playing friendlies abroad from social media, or even the websites of online gambling firms as there is little or no organised monitoring of these games for betting alerts in many European countries.

Finding a team line-up for a friendly can also be difficult and compunds the problem as it is difficult to take action against players if you don’t know who they are. Sometimes the location is not even evident, yet thousands of these games are routinely offered by gambling companies, particularly in Asia, where demand for football betting is strongest.

No regulation even though the problem is well known There is no effective regulation of friendly matches, even though football authorities have known about the problems with matchfixing for some time.

For instance, in 2015 the International Centre for Sports Security warned that a series of friendlies played at Marbella in southern Spain had been corrupted. In one game between Belgian club Standard Liege and Heerenveen from the Netherlands, the match had to be abandoned after a series of dubious decisions by the referee. This farrago culminated in the Dutch side’s goalkeeper saving a penalty, which the referee insisted – for no obvious reason – had to be retaken. The goalkeeper responded by walking off the field.

The other team identified in the series of flagged games from 2015 was Albanian club Skenderbeu, that in 2018 were banned for a decade by UEFA, who said that the club had been ‘fixing matches like nobody has done before’.

Last year, Marbella was again the centre of attention for a series of suspicious matches involving Latvian side Ventspils, whose games generated alerts for suspicious betting. In one game with Norwegian FK Jerv, eight of the Latvian players suddenly all attacked leaving their stranded goalkeeper and two defenders to try and repel a series of attacks until the Norwegian side finally won 1-0.

The game was live streamed on the Internet, giving unwitting punters in Asia and the rest of the world the opportunity to bet on a mid-winter training ground friendly between a Latvian club and a Norwegian third division team. The promoters of the game denied all knowledge of match fixing. The Spanish federation, the RFEF, investigated the claims and filed reports to the local police and UEFA, but no action has so far been taken.

Taking responsibility After the spate of recent problems in Brazil and the Ukraine, IBIA called on data companies to agree standards for best practice. Leading suppliers Genius and Sportradar were generally supportive and STATS Perform even suggested introducing independent audits.

Tightening data supply standards will help, but sporting federations also need to take responsibility for friendlies. The reason for the lack of action is often identifying who should take responsibility. If two clubs from different countries go to a third country, who is responsible: the countries that the clubs come from or the hosts?

If all three clubs are from the same confederation, then FIFA say the responsibility lies with UEFA but the problem for the European body lies in the transnational nature of the issue, which UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin acknowledged last October.

“Our problem always was and always is that, even if we know many things, each case has to be prosecuted,” said Ceferin.

“The main problem is that our jurisdiction ends at football. We cannot tap phones, we cannot put people in prison, and with many computer servers being 10,000km from Europe, it’s a problem we cannot solve on our own.”

UEFA subsequently began the search for an organisation to carry out a feasibility study into the creation of a new body to tackle integrity. Earlier this year, a candidate was identified but has not been named by UEFA due to what it describes as ‘commercial confidentiality’.

The idea of a sort of World Anti-Doping Association to tackle sporting integrity issues was discussed at Play the Game’s 2019 conference in Colorado Springs. The problem is that UEFA’s 55 member associations would need to vote this through and there are enough that would not want to help create a new integrity body that might start snooping in their affairs.

The creation of a more focused body created solely to focus on match fixing just in Europe has more chance of success, and identifying responsibility for the regulation of friendlies should be one of the first problems to be tackled before the issue comes back to haunt them

Source: Steve Menary,

28 May 2020,

Play the Game

Football

https://www.playthegame.org/news/comments/2020/1004_friendly-matches-between-clubs-are-wide-open-for-match-fixing/

CORRUPTION

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF)

Weightlifting: Federation plagued by decades of corruption, says investigation

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) was plagued by decades of corruption orchestrated by autocratic former president Tamas Ajan, said Richard McLaren after he led an independent investigation into the governing body.

McLaren, the Canadian law professor whose findings in July 2016 led to Russia being banned from all international athletic competitions, including the Rio Olympics, told reporters on Thursday that the IWF was rife with corruption.

This included vote buying, doping cover-ups and $10.4 million in cash that cannot be accounted for.

Ajan has denied any wrongdoing.

"I found an organisation that had been subject for close to half a century to an autocratic leader who dictated through various control mechanisms everything that occurred within the organisation," McLaren said in a Zoom conference.

"His (Ajan) obsession with control made it a culture of fear that prevented a vibrant and robust sports administration.

"We found systemic government failures and corruption at the highest level of the IWF."

The 81-year-old Hungarian Ajan had been at the IWF since the mid 70s, serving first as secretary general and then as president from 2000 until his resignation in April.

The 121-page report was both scathing and meticulous in detailing the massive scale of corruption within the IWF while it was ruled by Ajan, who used "the tyranny of cash" as his main control mechanism.

The investigation found the primary sources of this cash were doping fines paid personally to Ajan and withdrawals of large amounts of money from the IWF’s accounts, usually made just prior to major competitions or IWF congresses.

"It is absolutely impossible to determine how much of the cash collected or withdrawn was used for legitimate expenses," said McLaren.

"The McLaren Independent Investigation Team has determined that $10.4 million USD is unaccounted for."

McLaren described the IWF financial records as a "jumble of incomplete and inaccurate figures distorted by a failure to accurately record cash expenditures and revenues and disclose hidden bank accounts by Dr. Ajan".

VOTE BUYING

The investigation found that some of that money was used for vote buying for the President and senior level positions of the Executive Board at the two most recent Electoral Congresses.

During the investigation McLaren's team also uncovered doping infractions with 40 positive adverse analytical findings hidden in the IWF records. These include gold and silver medallists who have not had their samples dealt with.

McLaren said this information had been passed on to WADA for further investigation

The uncovering of 40 doping cases triggered outrage from United States Anti-Doping Agency chief Travis Tygart, who noted that Ajan was at one time a member of the World Anti-Doping Agency's Foundation Board.

 "The investigative report released today is yet another devastating blow to the credibility of sport governance and the global anti-doping system," said Tygart in a statement.

The culture of fear within the IWF continued even after Ajan's resignation.

McLaren said only two of five vice-presidents came forward, two of eight members of the executive board and just one of five presidents of continental federations.

"The appetite for members and stakeholders of the IWF to come forward was practically non-existent," said McLaren

On a visit to IWF headquarters in Budapest, 45 days after Ajan had been suspended, McLaren said his team found the former president still in his office.

"We witnessed him still carrying on with business as usual running the office, organising an executive board meeting having meetings with IWF financial advisors," said McLaren.

The IWF has been in an unwanted spotlight for some time and had its places at the Tokyo Olympics reduced and is only provisionally included on the 2024 Summer Games programme.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had started its own investigation earlier this year, prompting Ajan to resign as an Honorary Member.

The IOC said in statement it would support IWF reforms and work with WADA to determine whether there were any doping cases concerning the Olympic Games.

McLaren's findings could also trigger more investigations and result in criminal charges.

"Any allegations that need to be forwarded to other agencies will be forwarded whether that is WADA or law enforcement," IWF acting president Ursula Papandrea told reporters. "I think the report speaks for itself.

"What I can say is the activities that have been revealed and the behaviour that has occurred is absolutely unacceptable and possibly criminal."

Source: 5 June 2020,

The Guardian

Weightlifting

https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/sports/weightlifting-federation-plagued-by-decades-of-corruption-says-investigation-458193/

World Athletics

Ex-athletics chief Diack faces court over corruption

Lamine Diack, the disgraced former head of athletics' world governing body, goes on trial in Paris on Monday facing a potential 10-year prison sentence on charges of accepting millions of dollars to cover up Russian doping tests.

Diack, the Senegalese who was in charge of the International Association of Athletics Federations (now World Athletics), between 1999 and 2015, is charged with "giving and receiving bribes", "breach of trust" and "organised money laundering", and is expected to attend court.

The prosecution alleges that Diack, who turns 87 on Sunday, obtained $1.5 million of Russian funds to help back Macky Sall's campaign for the 2012 Senegal presidential election -- which he won -- in exchange for the IAAF's anti-doping arm covering up or delaying offences by 23 Russians.

The aim, prosecutors will say, was to allow the Russians to compete in the 2012 London Olympics and the 2013 World Athletics Championships in Moscow.

The trial, following a four-year investigation by the French Financial Prosecutor's Office, was originally scheduled to start on January 13, and the charges carry not only a maximum sentence of 10 years' prison but also a heavy fine.

Also appearing in court will be Habib Cisse, Diack's former legal advisor, who is suspected of having acted as an intermediary between the then-IAAF and Russian athletics and having received hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The former IAAF anti-doping chief Gabriel Dolle will also be there, accused of "receiving bribes" amounting to 190,000 euros. Both are French.

- Son's 'central role' -

Missing from the trial, however, will be Diack's son Papa Massata Diack, who handled lucrative contracts for the IAAF. He was implicated through a payment of 450,000 euros from Russian runner Liliya Shobukhova, allegedly to have her blood passport case delayed in order to compete in the 2012 Olympic marathon, as revealed by German TV station ARD in 2014.

Diack junior is accused of playing a "central role" in the network of corruption and is charged with "money laundering", "giving bribes" and "aiding the receiving of bribes". The deal that prosecutors say helped fund the 2012 presidential election campaign of Diack senior's friend Sall also allegedly smoothed the way for negotiations with Russian sponsors and broadcasters before the Moscow world championships. Together, the Diacks are suspected of being at the heart of a web of corruption.

The case is being pursued by the French authorities because the alleged money-laundering happened in France. Lamine Diack has been forbidden to leave France since the investigation began. Papa Massata Diack has been holed up in his native Senegal, out of reach of the French authorities. Papa Massata Diack was, however, questioned in Dakar in November over accusations against him and his father as part of a separate Senegalese investigation, a source told AFP.

He has refused to leave Senegal and despite two international arrest warrants issued by France, the Senegalese authorities have said they will not extradite him.

The case is due to run for six days. It was postponed in January because of procedural problems and could be held up again.

On Monday morning, the court will hear a request from Antoine Beauquier, Papa Massata Diack's Paris lawyer, for another postponement, because Diack junior's other two lawyers, while willing to travel to Paris, cannot leave Dakar because of coronavirus travel restrictions. The scandal that the trial touches on led to Russia being banned from competing in several international competitions over state-sponsored doping between 2011 and 2015. Despite being reinstated by other sports federations, Russia is still banned from competing as a nation by World Athletics.

Two other defendants are expected to be absent from the trial in Paris.

Valentin Balakhnichev, a former head of the Russian athletics federation and IAAF treasurer, is accused of "giving and receiving bribes" and "aggravated money-laundering".

Alexei Melnikov, formerly Russia's chief distance running coach, is accused of "receiving bribes."

Both are the subjects of international arrest warrants

Source: 7 June 2020,

Yahoo sports

Athletics

https://sports.yahoo.com/ex-athletics-chief-diack-faces-court-over-corruption-010748312--spt.html

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