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65 suspicious betting alerts reported by IBIA in Q3 2021

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he International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) reported 65 cases of suspicious betting to the relevant authorities during the third quarter (Q3) of 2021. The Q3 2021 total represents a 14% decrease compared to Q3 2020, which saw 76 alerts. The Q3 2021 alerts covered tennis (23 cases), football (18), table tennis (17), esports (2) and one each in handball, cricket, squash, basketball and futsal. From a geographical perspective, Europe accounted for nearly 60% of all alerts reported during Q3, followed by Asia with 15% and Africa 12%.

Marlon Samuels charged under ICC Anti-Corruption Code

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The International Cricket Council (ICC), on behalf of the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), has charged former West Indies player Marlon Samuels with breaching four counts of the ECB Anti-Corruption Code for Participants of the T10 League (the ‘Code’).

INTERPOL: Integrity in sport - bi-weekly bulletin

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INVESTIGATIONS

Belgium

Did Belgium’s 3x3 basketball team commit fraud to qualify for the Olympics?

Basketball Belgium, the Belgian basketball association and the international basketball federation are conducting an investigation into possible fraud involving the organisation of three-on-three basketball tournaments. The investigations have been launched following allegations of fraud involving the Belgian 3x3 Lions, who shone at the Tokyo Olympics.

ESIC Update Regarding NA ESEA Match-Fixing Investigation

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OVERVIEW:

For some time now, ESIC has been investigating several instances of match-fixing behaviour which took place in the North American region amongst CS:GO players participating in an ESEA tournament series. While this investigation is still ongoing, ESIC has made this release for the purposes of issuing an interim update.

To date, this investigation has been subject to significant cooperation with law enforcement agencies, anti-corruption supporters, and other stakeholders in order to ensure that the behaviour being perpetrated is thoroughly investigated and prosecuted under ESIC’s Anti-Corruption Code.

As of the date of this interim release, ESIC announces sanctions against three participants and is still in the process of conducting 34 additional investigations relating to this matter.

Notably, ESIC has observed compelling evidence that suggests that organised crime groups and foreign betting syndicates were involved in fraudulent activities during the course of Season 35 of the ESEA Premier: North America.

INTERPOL: Integrity in sport - bi-weekly bulletin - 27 July 2021

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NVESTIGATIONS

Ghana

Football: Player scores two own goals to ruin match-fixing plot in Ghana

A player in the Ghana Premier League Hashmin Musah has claimed that he scored two deliberate own goals in a match on Saturday so as to foil an alleged match-fixing plot.

INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin – 25 May 2021

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INVESTIGATIONS

National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF)

Suspicion of a match-fixing around PSG-Red Star Belgrade: the investigation closed

The National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) has closed its preliminary investigation into suspicions of rigging of the Champions League match between Paris-SG and the Red Star of Belgrade in October 2018, said Thursday the lawyer of the Serbian club , confirming information from the Team.

 

COMPETITION MANIPULATION IS A THREAT TO SPORT INTEGRITY: AIU IDENTIFIES MULTIPLE ILLEGITIMATE QUALIFYING PERFORMANCES FOR THE TOKYO 2020 OLYMPIC GAMES

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21 JULY 2021, MONACO: In the lead up to the Tokyo Olympic Games, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has received 17 referrals for investigation of suspicious qualifying performances. The referrals were from 16 countries and included 31 athletes and five relay teams. As a result of the AIU’s investigations, eight qualifying performances for the Olympic Games were not recognised by World Athletics and the relevant athletes denied a place at the Games. A number of cases have been identified by the AIU for further investigation to determine if fraudulent conduct was involved.

Protecting sport’s integrity at Tokyo 2020

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Protecting the integrity of sport at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, taking place from 23 July to 8 August 2021, is a top priority for the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IOC Executive Board (EB) was updated today on the measures put in place for Games time – aimed at both preventing and dealing swiftly with competition manipulation.

Carlos Andrés Sepúlveda Navarro banned from tennis for three years

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The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has today confirmed that Colombian tennis player Carlos Andrés Sepúlveda Navarro has been banned from the sport for three years after admitting to multiple breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP) rules. In addition to the ban, Sepúlveda Navarro was fined $10,000 with $8,000 suspended.

ESIC REFERS EVIDENCE RELATING TO POTENTIAL MATCH-FIXING AND BETTING FRAUD IN RMR EVENT TO VALVE

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EPIC’s CIS RMR event has been the subject of public controversy for various reasons. As EPIC is not a member of ESIC, ESIC has not taken steps to investigate the extent of integrity threats in the event. However, on 9 June 2021, ESIC has made a referral to Valve including substantial evidence indicating the existence of potential betting fraud perpetrated by individuals participating or associated with those who were participating in the CIS RMR event run by EPIC.

ESIC has received evidence via its global Suspicious Betting Alert Network (SBAN) that the CEO of Project X, the team from which the Akuma roster emerged,  Oleksandr Shyshko, has an active CSGO betting account and has placed numerous bets on highly suspicious Project X matches (when most of the current Akuma roster were playing as Project X) and, crucially, made accurate pre-match bets on the outcome of the Virtus Pro v Akuma match in the CIS RMR, the conduct of which match is subject to the current public cheating allegations against Akuma.

INTERPOL: Integrity in Sport - Bi-weekly bulletin

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INVESTIGATIONS

National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF)

Suspicion of a match-fixing around PSG-Red Star Belgrade: the investigation closed

The National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) has closed its preliminary investigation into suspicions of rigging of the Champions League match between Paris-SG and the Red Star of Belgrade in October 2018, said Thursday the lawyer of the Serbian club, confirming information from the Team.

Tunisian tennis player suspended

Tunisian tennis player suspended

The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) can today confirm that Tunisian tennis player Anis Ghorbel has been suspended from the sport for a period of three years, and fined $20,000, for four breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP). 
 
The sanction is linked to a recently concluded criminal case involving a match-fixing syndicate in Belgium. Collaboration between the ITIA and Belgian authorities led to a five-year custodial sentence for the leader of the syndicate, Grigor Sargsyan.   
 
Ghorbel – who held a career-high world singles ranking of 479 in 2016 – denied all charges related to the fixing of matches in 2016 and 2017. A hearing was held before independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer (AHO) Amani Khalifa on 22 December 2023. 
 
AHO Khalifa found Ghorbel liable for four breaches of the TACP in total, including two breaches of section D.2.a.i of the TACP (failure to report a corrupt approach); and one breach of sections D.1.b and D.1.d of the TACP (facilitating wagering on the outcome of a match, and contriving the outcome or aspect of a match, respectively).  
 
The suspension will run from the date of the decision (4 January 2024) until midnight of 3 January 2027. 
 
During the period of ineligibility, Ghorbel is prohibited from playing in, coaching at, or attending any tennis event authorised or sanctioned by the members of the ITIA (ATP, ITF, WTA, Tennis Australia, French Tennis Federation, Wimbledon and USTA) or any national association. 
 

The ITIA is an independent body established by its tennis members to promote, encourage, enhance, and safeguard the integrity of professional tennis worldwide.  

IBIA welcomes historic vote of Brazilian sports betting law

IBIA welcomes historic vote of Brazilian sports betting law

IBIA welcomes the adoption of the sports betting law by the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies. The law introduces an effective regulatory and licensing system for operators in Brazil for both sports betting and online casinos. It also includes a range of integrity measures to strengthen the fight against sports betting related match-fixing.

The law includes a requirement that sports betting operators are part of an international monitoring body; a provision that will help to ensure proper mechanisms are put in place to help protect operators, their customers, as well as sports, from potential fraud and manipulation. In addition, the ability for betting operators to suspend payments of bets for matches that are under investigation for potential corruption is important in protecting operators and deterring sports betting related fraud. 

Khalid Ali, CEO of IBIA, said: ‘This is an historic moment for sports betting in Brazil and is a major step forward in the fight against match-fixing. IBIA welcomes the adoption of specific betting integrity provisions in the law, which the association has been campaigning for since discussions on regulating sports betting began in 2018. A number of Brazilian market focused operators have already joined IBIA, and we look forward to engaging with other operators intent on offering well-protected sports betting products to Brazilian consumers via IBIA’s world leading integrity network.’

IBIA is run by operators for operators, with its monitoring and alert network harnessing the collective resources and expertise of many of the world’s largest regulated sports betting companies. It monitors approximately US$150bn in betting transactions on approximately 650,000 competitive sporting events globally, making it the largest monitor of its type in the world. According to H2 Gambling Capital – the leading independent authority on global gambling market data – IBIA members already account for over 60% of the remote gambling market in Brazil. 

IBIA’s international monitoring and alert network will provide accurate and detailed intelligence on suspicious betting activity on Brazilian sport to betting regulators, law enforcement and sports governing bodies.

Khalid Ali stated: “Although the new law is a very important milestone in the fight against match-fixing, there is no room for complacency. We are committed to working more closely and sharing our expertise with the Brazilian regulatory authorities on the implementing regulation on integrity, as well as with sports and law enforcement to ensure we more effectively detect, deter and sanction sports betting related match-fixing and fraud.

Opening markets to licensed sports betting operators is key to protecting consumers and the integrity of sporting competitions from sports betting related match-fixing. Regulated sports betting markets channel consumers away from the unregulated markets where most of the issues with match-fixing and corruption arise.

Khalid Ali continued: “By opening-up the market to licensed sports betting operators Brazil is sending a very important message to other markets in Latin America that a dynamic and competitive regulated sports betting framework with strong integrity provisions is essential to the fight against sports betting related match-fixing.”

Sports betting exists within a highly competitive international market and an overly burdensome framework of regulation and taxation will have the counterproductive, and unintended, consequence of driving sports betting customers into unregulated markets, reducing tax revenues and increasing the risk of corruption and match fixing. 

Therefore, whilst IBIA welcomes the fact that the Chamber of Deputies has resisted the temptation to impose higher levels of gambling taxation, the impact of the overall tax burden and the substantial cost of the licencing fee, which remains BRL30m, may deter investments in Brazil.

Five tennis players suspended

Five tennis players suspended

The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) today confirms that five tennis players have been sanctioned for breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP).  
 

The sanctions are linked to a recently concluded criminal case involving a match-fixing syndicate in Belgium. Collaboration between the ITIA and Belgian authorities led to a five-year custodial sentence for the leader of the syndicate, Grigor Sargsyan.  
 

Sanctions were imposed by independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer (AHO) Professor Richard McLaren, after all five players failed to contest the ITIA’s charges against them, either at all or within the time limit set by the TACP. All of the following players’ sanctions began on 30 September 2023. 
 

Mexican Alberto Rojas Maldonado, who reached a career-high ATP singles ranking of 992 in 2015, was found to have committed 92 breaches of the TACP – the second-highest number of breaches for one individual - and played a pivotal role in the corruption of other players. As a result, the player was issued a lifetime ban from the sport and ordered to pay the maximum fine of $250,000.  
 
Guatemalan Christopher Díaz Figueroa, who reached an ATP career-high ranking of 326 in 2011 and previously served a three-year suspension for match-fixing (with one year suspended), has now been banned from the sport for life and fined $75,000 for 13 further TACP breaches, including match-fixing and the facilitation of wagering.  
 

Mexican José Antonio Rodríguez Rodríguez, who reached a career-high ATP singles ranking of 1367 in 2017, was found to have committed eight breaches of the TACP, including match-fixing and the facilitation of wagering. AHO McLaren found that Rodríguez acted in concert with Maldonado to realise “significant financial gain.” The player has been suspended for 12 years and ordered to pay a fine of $25,001. Rodríguez’s suspension will end on 29 September 2035. 
 

Mexican Antonio Ruiz Rosales, who reached a career-high ATP singles ranking of 652 in 2008, has been suspended for 10 years and fined $30,000 for seven breaches of the TACP, including match-fixing and the facilitation of wagering. Ruiz’s suspension will end on 29 September 2033. 
 

Mexican Orlando Alcántara Rangel, who reached a career-high ATP singles ranking of 1735 in 2015, has been suspended for two years and fined $10,000 for two breaches of the TACP. Alcántara’s suspension will end on 29 September 2025. 
 

During the players’ suspensions, they are prohibited from playing in, coaching at, or attending any tennis event authorised or sanctioned by the members of the ITIA: ATP, ITF, WTA, Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and US Open, or any national association.  
 

The ITIA is an independent body established by its tennis members to promote, encourage, enhance and safeguard the integrity of professional tennis worldwide.

To access the full decision, click here.

CAS upholds the appeal of Nikita Khakimov

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The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has upheld the appeal filed by the Russian badminton player Nikita Khakimov against the Badminton World Federation (BWF) in relation to the decision rendered by the BWF Hearing Panel on 18 November 2020 (the Challenged Decision) in which he was found have committed violations of the BWF Code of Conduct relating to betting and match-fixing and sanctioned with a five-year suspension from badminton-related activities.

2021 Suspicious Betting Trends in Global Football Report

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Stats Perform Integrity and Starlizard Integrity Services have released their fourth annual Suspicious Betting Trends in Global Football Report. The report aims to provide fellow stakeholders in the sports integrity community with a significant and informative overview of current trends in suspicious football betting.

FIFPRO and UEFA join forces to fight match-fixing

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FIFPRO and UEFA have signed a joint cooperation agreement that recognises the Red Button whistleblowing app as the go-to platform for professional footballers to report possible match-fixing incidents. 

German tennis player banned for 12 months

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The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has today confirmed that German tennis player Dario Drebenstedt has been banned from the sport for 12 months and fined $5000 after being found guilty of several breaches of Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP) rules. The offenses all took place at a tournament in Egypt in 2021 and related to an attempt to buy a wild card and attempted corrupt approaches to other players.

INTERPOL: Integrity in sport - bi-weekly bulletin - 7-20 September

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INVESTIGATIONS

Belgium

Belgian police to investigate possible basketball fraud case

BRUSSELS (AP) — The Belgian basketball federation has asked the country’s federal police to investigate a possible fraud case related to the organization of 3x3 tournaments in the runup to the Tokyo Olympics.

Following discussions with the local Wallonia and Flanders federations, Basketball Belgium said in a statement on Tuesday that it contacted a police unit specialized in sports fraud to conduct a “thorough investigation.”

The federation said a disciplinary inquiry was being carried out by Basketball Flanders in addition to a criminal complaint.

De Standaard newspaper reported last month that fake 3x3 basketball tournaments were set up in Belgium from August to October 2019 in a bid to allow the Belgium team to collect the necessary points to be able to take part in qualifying for the Olympic Games.

Sport Integrity Australia announce Corporate Plan 2021-2025

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Australia is a nation of sports lovers. Sport plays an important role in Australia’s culture. Our love of sport is reflected in the large numbers of people who play and participate in sport, attend sporting events or passionately watch their teams on television.

Two Uzbekistan tennis players banned

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The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has confirmed that two tennis players from Uzbekistan, Temur Ismailov and Amal Sultanbekov, have been banned from the sport, following an investigation into match fixing at a tournament in 2019.

FIFA INTEGRITY BRIEFINGS COMPLETED AHEAD OF TOKYO 2020

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With the Tokyo 2020 Olympics fast approaching, FIFA has completed a series of integrity briefings with the participating teams and referees in order to raise awareness of potential threats to the game and outline FIFA’s preventative measures.

The sessions included practical examples on critical situations that team members and referees may face before, during or after the competition, as well as details on the appropriate mechanisms to report any incident relating to match manipulation.

Six Moroccan tennis players provisionally suspended

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The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) today confirms that six tennis players from Morocco have been provisionally suspended by independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer (AHO) Charles Hollander QC, pending an inquiry into match fixing allegations. The players are: Amine Ahouda, Anas Chakrouni, Ayoub Chakrouni, Mohamed Zakaria Khalil, Soufiane El Mesbahi and Yassir Kilani.

Ultimate Tournament joins ESIC as Anti-Corruption Supporter

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Esports betting operator Ultimate Tournament eSportsbook™ is the newest addition to ESIC’s dedicated list of Anti-Corruption Supporters. In this capacity, Ultimate Tournament will assist ESIC in investigating suspicious betting activity across their betting platform, endorsing ESIC’s greater effort against match-fixing and betting fraud within the esports betting industry.

Anti-Corruption Supporters like Ultimate Tournament work with ESIC by providing information needed for initiating and conducting investigations on match-fixing and betting fraud.

INTERPOL: Integrity in sport - bi-weekly bulletin

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An investigation into possible corruption during the Olympic boxing competition at Rio 2016 is to be led by Professor Richard McLaren, the man who uncovered the full extent of Russian state-sponsored doping. McLaren, who found that more than a thousand Russian athletes in 30 sports had been part of a sophisticated doping programme, has now been tasked with investigating potential judging and refereeing irregularities in Rio by the International Boxing Association (Aiba).

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