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INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin - 1 May 2018 - 14 May 2018

Hands giving and receiving money

For the first two weeks of May, we have taken note of how sports organizations are faced with an increased number of match-fixing incidents and take the necessary measures to sanction them.

In El Salvador, a former coach has been banned by FIFA for failing to report a match-fixing attempt before the World Cup qualifier against Canada in 2016. In Colombia, a tennis player has been suspended for three years and fined $5,000 after failing to cooperate with a Tennis Integrity Unit investigation. In Malaysia, two badminton players have been banned for 15 and 20 years and have also been fined with $15,000 and $25,000 by the Badminton World Federation (BWF). In Pakistan, an United Arab Emirates based coach was suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) following Pakistan’s captain allegations that he was approached to participate in a spot-fixing scheme.

Meanwhile, the Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA) opened an investigation into the Azam Rwanda Premier League match between SC Kiyovu and Miroplast after Miroplast head coach accused SC Kiyovu of bribing his players to lose 2-0. In response to the case, the Rwanda National Olympic and Sports Committee (RNOSC) has called for concerted effort to fight corruption and match-fixing in sports.

In Malta, the Parliament approved a new Gaming Act including several features to improve Maltese Gaming Authorities’ regulatory framework regarding money laundering, player protection and criminal justice. In Uganda, the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) created a referees disciplinary panel following reports of referees technical misconduct and indiscipline.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) stated to appeal Switzerland’s supreme court against rulings which cleared some Russian athletes of doping sanctions from the Sochi Games. Also, the IOC stated that boxing may not be included in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics amid concerns over the sport’s governing body, the International Boxing Association (AIBA).

International betting integrity body ESSA reported 50 cases of suspicious betting involving nine sports: tennis, football, table tennis, badminton, volleyball, basketball, ice hockey, eSports and beach volleyball. According to ESSA, tennis makes up over half of alerts in the first quarter of 2018. Following the publication of the Tennis Independent Review Interim Report, Wimbledon officials are planning to restructure the lower levels of tennis in light of reducing match-fixing attempts. Finally, French regulator ARJEL reported its highest ever online sports betting turnover in the first trimester of 2018 since the opening of the market in 2010.

We welcome submissions on best practices, major developments, new trends and relevant articles for publication in the bulletin. We also welcome hard copies of publications that your Organization is producing in the field of sports corruption at the below address.

The next bi-weekly bulletin will be circulated on Monday, 28 May 2018.



Ferwafa to probe Kiyovu match fixing allegations

Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA) has opened an investigation into the Azam Rwanda Premier League match between SC Kiyovu and Miroplast, which took place last week after Miroplast head coach Suleiman Niyibizi accused SC Kiyovu of bribing his players to lose. Kiyovu won the match 2-0.

Ferwafa spokesperson Bonnie Mugabe said Kiyovu and the referees who officiated the match were requested to respond to the allegations. However, Mugabe didn’t reveal what their responses were. Ferwafa’s disciplinary committee, which is headed by Joseph Kajangwe, is investigating the matter.

Kiyovu’s secretary-general and spokesperson, Omar Munyagabe, denied the match fixing allegations, adding that “this is an excuse for losing the game”.

Meanwhile, SC Kiyovu, who are in fourth on the league table will host third place APR (34) where a win for former will see them jump into third place while the win for APR will move them to second place with 37 points.

In the first leg, SC Kiyovu pulled off a shock 1-0 victory to end a 12-year losing streak against APR FC.

The lone goal of the match was scored by Francis Mustafa in the 32nd minute and he is the man to fear for APR’s team after coming off the bench to score six goals in the league.

Before the first leg, SC Kiyovu had not beaten APR in the league in 12 years – their last victory was a 3-1 back on October 30, 2005 and it came on the last day of the season after the military side had already been crowned champions.

Meanwhile, forward Jimmy Mashingirwa Kibengo, aka Jimmy Mbaraga, scored a dramatic stoppage-time winner to earn AS Kigali all three points in yesterday’s tie against Gicumbi at Gicumbi Stadium. It was his fifth goal of league.

Gicumbi came out playing aggressive football in the first half but failed to beat Ugandan goalie, Batte Shamiru, while AS Kigali responded well in second half and it was Kibengo who netted a winner in the 89th minute from an Eric "Zidane" Nsabimana cross.

AS Kigali midfielder Ally Niyonzima was red-carded in the 70th minute after hitting Gicumbi midfielder Hussein Ndarabu in the face.

The goal kept AS Kigali at the top of the league table with 38 points while Rayon Sports remained second with 35 points after drawing 1-1 against Kirehe.

After losing, Gicumbi are second from bottom with 15 points, two ahead of bottom side Miroplast, who will visit eighth placed Bugesera today in Nyamata.

Etincelles beat Sunrise 2-1 to jump into fifth place with 30 points while Sunrise dropped to seventh with 25 points. Marines are in 12th place after playing a goalless draw against 13th placed Espoir in Rusizi.

Source: 3 May 2018, The New Times




Colombia’s Barlaham Zuluaga Gaviria suspended and fined for failing to co-operate with TIU corruption investigation

22-year old Colombian tennis player Barlaham Zuluaga Gaviria has been suspended for three years and fined $5,000 after being found guilty of failing to co-operate with a Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) investigation.

Independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer (AHO) Prof Richard H. McLaren considered the case at a disciplinary Hearing held in London on 23 April 2018. His decision and applicable sanctions were provided today, 2 May 2018.

Mr Zuluaga Gaviria was charged under Section F.2.b of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP) which requires all Covered Persons to co-operate with TIU investigations into potential breaches of integrity:

All Covered Persons must co-operate fully with investigations conducted by the TIU including giving evidence at hearings, if requested. No Covered Person shall tamper with or destroy any evidence or other information related to any Corruption Offense.

In failing to co-operate with the TIU investigation the player excused himself from an interview on the grounds of illness and did not provide his mobile phone for forensic download. Despite repeated requests, he subsequently failed to reschedule the interview and eventually supplied an alternative phone that did not contain the data originally requested.

On 29 July 2017 Mr Zuluaga Gaviria was provisionally suspended from playing by AHO McLaren. That ruling was then reconfirmed on 21 September 2017 as a result of the player’s continuing failure to comply.

The three year suspension applies with immediate effect and means that he is not allowed to compete in, or attend, any tournament or event organised or sanctioned by the governing bodies of the sport.

Mr Zuluaga Gaviria achieved a career-high singles ranking of 1,491 in September 2013 and is currently ranked 1,957.

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.

Note: Prof McLaren’s full disciplinary decision in this case will be posted on the TIU website in due course.

Source: 2 May 2018, Tennis Integrity Unit


El Salvador

Soccer: Former El Salvador coach Maradiaga banned over match-fixing case

Former El Salvador coach Ramon Maradiaga has been banned by FIFA for two years for allegedly failing to report a match-fixing attempt before their World Cup qualifier against Canada in 2016, the global soccer body said on Wednesday.

FIFA said Maradiaga, a Honduran who played for his own country in the 1982 World Cup, had “allowed and failed to report” a meeting in which a third party offered the players “financial compensation” in exchange for fixing the result. It said the offer was rejected and reported by the players in a news conference on Sept. 5, 2016. The incident was widely reported at the time. Maradiaga could not immediately be reached for comment.

El Salvador were bottom of their four-team group with two points from five games and had already been eliminated from the competition for places at this year’s finals in Russia. However, a heavy defeat for El Salvador could have potentially allowed Canada to finish above Honduras and progress to the next stage of the competition on goal difference. In the event, Canada won 3-1 but were eliminated after Honduras drew 0-0 away to Mexico.

Maradiaga, 63, was found guilty of violating FIFA ethics rules on bribery and corruption and duty of disclosure, FIFA said in a statement. He was also fined 20,000 Swiss francs ($20,036.06). He is widely known in Central America, having also coached the national teams of Honduras and Guatemala as well a number of clubs including Marathon, Motagua, Real Espana and Aguila.

Central America is seen as especially vulnerable to match-fixing as many clubs struggle financially, playing conditions are poor and players often do not get paid on time. In 2013, El Salvador banned 14 international players for life for match-fixing, including some of their best-known and most experienced names.

Source: 2 May 2018, Reuters



Match-fixing: Two Malaysian badminton players receive career-ending bans

Two Malaysian badminton players have been handed career-ending bans for match-fixing. Tan Chun Seang, 31, and former junior world champion Zulfadli Zulkiffli, 25, were banned for 15 and 20 years. An independent panel found both players "engaged in corruption offences over a significant period and a significant number of tournaments" from 2013. The bans also cover administrative, coaching, officiating and developmental roles within the sport.

It is the first case of its kind for both badminton and the Badminton World Federation (BWF). The players' actions were found to breach the BWF's code of conduct relating to "betting, wagering and irregular match results".

Tan and Zulkiffli have also been fined $15,000 (£11,002) and $25,000 (£18,337) respectively by a BWF Ethics Hearing Panel. The BWF ruled Zulkiffli - who reached a career-high ranking of 30 in January 2017 - had manipulated the results of four matches, committing 31 violations in total of the sport's code of conducts between 2013 and 2016. Tan - who in 2011 was banned from playing in Asian countries for two years due to his decision to quit the Malaysian national team - committed 26 violations over a shorter period of time.

The investigation was launched after a whistleblower alleged Zulkiffli had approached him at a tournament in Brazil in 2016. Zulkiffli, who was born in Los Angeles, was crowned world junior men's singles champion in 2011, defeating the current world champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the final. Their suspensions have been backdated from 12 January, 2018 - the date they were both provisionally suspended by the BWF.

The bans are the latest scandal to hit Malaysian badminton, after two Danish players alleged a Malaysian man had approached them to throw matches. In 2015, former world number one Lee Chong Wei was banned from the sport for eight months for doping.

Source: 2 May 2018, BBC Sport


United Arab Emirates

UAE coach Ansari suspended over spot-fixing offer

KARACHI: United Arab Emirates based coach Irfan Ansari was suspended following allegations from Pakistan's captain Sarfraz Ahmed that he was approached to participate in a spot-fixing scheme, Crickcet's administrative body said on Thursday.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) said Ansari was charged with three counts of breaching the body's anti-corruption code. "Ansari has been provisionally suspended with immediate effect and has been charged for directly soliciting, inducing, enticing or encouraging a participant to breach the code and for failure or refusal to cooperate with the anti-corruption unit's investigation," said an ICC release. Ansari, who is originally from Pakistan, has coached a number of small professional clubs in the UAE for years.

The ICC said the suspension comes after Ansari failed to provide requested information to group's anti-corruption wing on two separate occasions. The charges centre on Sarfraz's admission to the Pakistan Cricket Board and the ICC that Ansari had approached him about spot fixing during the one-day series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the UAE last October.

Spot-fixing involves determining the outcome of a specific part of a match rather than the overall result, and is therefore harder to detect than match-fixing. Ansari will now have two weeks to respond to the charges. "The ICC will not make any further comment in respect of these charges at this stage," said the body in a statement. The PCB took extra measures to stem spot-fixing, with all six teams in this year's league monitored by anti-corruption officers.

Pakistan has a history of fixing cases, the latest being last year's scandal which rocked the Pakistan Super League held in UAE. A spot-fixing case during Pakistan's tour of England in 2010 ended in five-year bans on then Test captain Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir. Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria is also serving a life ban on charges of spot-fixing during a county match in England in 2009.

Source: AFP, 10 May 2018, Times of India




Malta’s new Gaming Act approved

The Maltese Parliament has approved a new Gaming Act after its third reading, intended to strengthen the Maltese Gaming Authorities’ (MGA) ability to uphold and enforce compliance and regulatory guidelines. The Gaming Act includes several key features to improve the MGA’s regulatory framework regarding issues such as anti money laundering, player protection, and criminal as well as administrative justice.

The MGA will be able to achieve these aims partly through the planned formalisation of the regulators player support unit which is tasked with being a mediator between players and operators over contentious issues. Additionally, the Gaming Act focuses on strengthening the current consumer protection standards of the MGA and updating their responsible gaming measures.

Commenting on the new Gaming Act the MGA’s Chief Executive Officer, Heathcliff Farrugia, said: “This is a very important milestone for the MGA. The new law establishes very robust compliance and enforcement powers and structures, and lays the necessary foundation to continue to strengthen player protection.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy & Innovation, Hon. Silvio Schembri, added: “I would like to thank the MGA for moving the regulatory agenda for gaming services forward, as well as for identifying areas for further and continuous improvement. The MGA will periodically review the regulatory performance of the sector and the framework itself and will advise Government on the attainment of its objectives mainly focusing on consumer protection and integrity.

The new Gaming Act will be introduced at the start of July 2018 for remote gaming operators and at the start of January 2019 for land-based operators, assuming no issues arise during the Technical Regulation Information System (TRIS) process.

Source: Harrison Sayers, 10 May 2018, Gambling Insider



IOC to challenge Russian doping cases at Swiss supreme court

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The International Olympic Committee will appeal to Switzerland's supreme court against rulings which cleared some Russian athletes of doping sanctions from the Sochi Games. The Olympic body is "not satisfied at all" by the verdicts and written explanations from the Court of Arbitration for Sport, IOC President Thomas Bach said on Thursday after an executive board meeting.

The Swiss Federal Tribunal — also based in Lausanne — can overturn CAS verdicts if legal process was abused, though appeals rarely succeed. "The chances of winning did not play a role in our discussion," Bach said at a news conference. "The only factor which led us to this decision was the protection of the clean athletes who have finished behind the Russian athletes who have not been declared innocent." Days before the Pyeongchang Winter Games in February, two CAS judging panels upheld appeals of 28 Russian athletes against IOC sanctions that included Olympic life bans and being stripped of their Sochi results. CAS said the IOC's investigations in those cases did not prove doping offences, while also stressing the 28 were not formally declared innocent of taking part in orchestrated cheating.

The verdicts irritated Olympic leaders who believed the sports court applied the burden of proof of a criminal case. Sports law in a civil court like CAS typically requires cases to be proven to the "comfortable satisfaction" of judges. Bach said on Thursday the IOC had "put ourselves into the shoes" of athletes who would want the Russian appeal victories evaluated again. A further 11 Russians lost their appeals at CAS, which confirmed their Sochi disqualifications.

The Russian athletes' urgent appeals to CAS followed a slew of IOC disciplinary hearings late last year to process the cases before the Pyeongchang Games, where some hoped to compete. The IOC disqualified 43 Russians from their Sochi Olympics results for doping offenses. Those cases sought to verify allegations and evidence presented by World Anti-Doping Agency-appointed investigator Richard McLaren and Russian whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov, the former director of testing laboratories in Moscow and Sochi.

In one detailed verdict published two weeks ago, the CAS judges found flaws in the evidence-gathering and conclusions of the two star witnesses. Rodchenkov testified from a secret location in the United States, where he is in a witness protection program. A 154-page document detailed why a three-man CAS panel upheld the appeal of cross-country skier Alexander Legkov. He was reinstated as the gold medalist in the 50-kilometer freestyle race and the silver medalist in the 4x10-kilometer relay from the Sochi Games.

Source: Graham Dunbar, Associated Press, 3 May 2018, Yahoo!



Strong law needed to overcome match fixing threat: ANFA Prez Sherpa

KATHMANDU: Newly elected President of All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) Karma Tshiring Sherpa said there was a need of law to overcome the threat of match fixing.

There is a threat of match fixing in Nepali football so i want to draw attention of government and lawmakers over this matter. They must bring strong laws and regulations to overcome such threat,” said Sherpa during an interaction program in Kathmandu on Sunday.

FIFA have introduced software and methodologies to monitor the match fixing so we will also opt them in order to observe such threat,” added Sherpa. He also stated that his main focus would be to maintain the transparency in Nepali football. “We will make financial regulations which will help us to maintain the transparency not just in ANFA but in whole Nepali football sector,” claimed Sherpa.

The A Division outfit Himalyan Sherpa Club’s President also informed his committee will decide to host the national league which has been stalled since several years and install the football training centres in 45 districts.

Players are forced to change their profession in the absence of proper domestic football structure and playing environment. Now this trend will end during our tenure,” claimed Sherpa. Furthermore, Sherpa also shared a plan of establishing 14 football academies in seven provinces.

Source: 6 May 2018, The Himalayan Times



RNOSC calls for concerted effort to fight match-fixing

Rwanda National Olympic and Sports Committee (RNOSC) has called for concerted effort to fight corruption and match-fixing in sports. This is contained in a statement released hot on the heels of allegations of bribery and match-fixing incidents in the topflight football league. But RNOSC warned against leveling such claims without facts.

Briefing the media recently, Rwanda Football Association president Brig. Gen (rtd) Jean-Damascène Sekamana also called for caution.

There could be several reasons influencing referees. It could be drawn to delays in receiving wages, lack of motivation or even stress. To pin them on match-fixing, you need concrete proof he stated. The two bodies and the Ministry of Sports and Culture say they will step up coordination and partnerships to improve professionalism and rid the sport of malpractices."

Source: Jejje Muhinde, 8 May 2018, The New Times



FUFA initiates special referees’ disciplinary panel to check match fixing scandals

Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) is streamlined to cleaning the rot and dirt in officiating of matches locally. It is upon this back ground that the Federation has appointed a three man committee to spur head the referees’ disciplinary panel. The panel is headed by retired former FIFA Referee Ali Tomusange, Uganda Beach Soccer Association chairman, Deo Mutabazi and Namboole stadium manager Jamil Ssewanyana.

This follows a loud public outcry from stake holders of the game in the country, the federation has reacted swiftly with the formulation of the referees’ disciplinary panel. A number of parties have registered their dissatisfaction about the standards of refereeing in the respective leagues on-going in the country.

The fruits of the panel was one of the key deliberations from the 17th FUFA Executive committee which convened on Tuesday, 24th April 2018 at FUFA House. FUFA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Edgar Watson Suubi released a circular, FUFA/C/005/18 number 1073 dated Kampala, 2nd May 2018 which read in part;

…It has been observed and deliberated upon the various feedback on reports that show a cumulative trend of referees technical misconducts, indiscipline and integrity checks. It was further observed that despite measures being done by FUFA Referees standing committee (FRSC) to sanction offenders, they have always delayed or been executed without most stakeholders awareness.

The circular continues;

In order to address the issues mentioned above, and to find faster methods to address referees cases of technical and integrity misconduct, the Executive committee has constitute a referees disciplinary panel composed of three people headed by Ali Tomusange, Deo Mutabazi and Jamil Ssewanyana.

The work of the committee takes immediate effect.

Source: David Isabirye, 7 May 2018, Kawowo



ESSA (Sports Betting Integrity)

ESSA reports 50 suspicious betting alerts during Q1 2018

Brussels, 2 May: International betting integrity body ESSA (Sports Betting Integrity) reported 50 cases of suspicious betting to the relevant authorities during the first quarter (Q1) of 2018. The Q1 cases involved 9 sports with: 27 cases in tennis, 11 cases in football, 4 in table tennis, 2 each in badminton and volleyball, and one each in basketball, beach volleyball, ice hockey and eSports.

ESSA Secretary General Khalid Ali said: “The publication of the interim report into integrity issues in tennis has understandably focused attention on that sport. Tennis makes up over half of our alerts in the first quarter of 2018, but it is important to highlight that it is one of nine sports on which alerts were reported. Therefore ESSA has continued the expansion of its information sharing partnerships throughout the first quarter.

This has seen important agreements concluded with the Rugby Football Union, International Cricket Council, State of Victoria Police, Portuguese gambling regulator and UEFA. In addition, ESSA’s betting integrity officer was seconded to the IOC to help monitor the Winter Olympic Games. This proved to be a resounding success and will hopefully pave the way for similar stakeholder engagement and integrity partnership working with other sports during their high-profile events.

The Q1 report includes an article by European football’s governing body UEFA on the organisation’s policy to tackle match-fixing through a four-pillar approach encompassing: education, legal framework, monitoring and investigation, and sanctions. UEFA works alongside a range of partners to protect football’s integrity and the announcement covering the recent signing of an information sharing agreement MoU with ESSA can be viewed here.

ESSA holds positions on high-level betting policy forums at the European Commission, Council of Europe and the IOC. It is driving a number of important initiatives aimed at addressing match-fixing and hosted an international betting integrity conference at Lords Cricket Ground (see here) at the end of last year, attended by over 150 senior officials from sports bodies, regulators and other key stakeholders. A copy of ESSA’s Q1 integrity report can be accessed here, along with previous reports.

Source: 2 May 2018, ESSA

Football, Tennis, Table Tennis, Badminton, Volleybal, Basketball, Ice Hockey, eSports, Beach Volleyball


ARJEL (T1 2018) : le marché français des paris sportifs bat de nouveaux records

Au cours du premier trimestre de 2018, les parieurs sportifs ont engagé plus de 847 millions d'euros de mises. Il s'agit du montant le plus élevé généré sur un seul trimestre depuis l'ouverture du marché en 2010. À titre de comparaison, de tels montants n'étaient atteints que sur une année pleine jusqu'en 2013.

Le boum des paris sportifs en ligne ne semble pas décidé à s'essouffler. Dans son dernier rapport trimestriel, l'Autorité de Régulation des Jeux En Ligne (ARJEL) met en avant de nouveaux records d'activité : 847 millions d'euros de mises (soit une poussée de 34 % sur un an), un total de 462 500 comptes joueurs actifs chaque semaine (contre 341 000 un an plus tôt)...

Inutile de ménager le suspense plus longtemps : le Produit Brut des Jeux (PBJ) des opérateurs enregistre lui aussi une forte hausse de l'ordre de 55 %. Le chiffre est impressionnant. Il s'explique en partie par "une suite de résultats sportifs favorables aux opérateurs", et un Taux de Retour aux Joueurs (TRJ) en conséquence en repli de deux points. Reste qu'avec 147 millions d'euros de chiffre d'affaires, les bookmakers hexagonaux ont conquis de nouveaux sommets lors des trois premiers mois de l'année.

La Ligue des Champions et la Ligue Europa de football ont largement contribué à cette bonne dynamique avec des mises en progression respectivement de 47 et 73 %. Au passage, la double confrontation entre le PSG et le Real Madrid en huitième de finale a été à l'origine des deux matchs (entre clubs) les plus pariés depuis 2010 : 4,6 millions d'euros pour le match aller et 6 millions pour le retour. De bon augure avant la finale entre l'OM et l'Atletico Madrid en Ligue Europa.

Source: 9 May 2018, Bar des Sports


Supreme Court dismisses appeal for investigation into cricket match-fixing

The Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud on Monday (May 7) dismissed a petition by Atul Kumar, who had asked the top court to look into the issue of match-fixing in cricket.

He had claimed that there is regular fixing in cricket and this is a big racket, but the government is not taking any action. On the last date of hearing the court had directed Union of India to assist the court. Today Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh appeared in the matter on behalf of the respondents (the government) and the petitioner appeared in person.

The respondent lead counsel Tripathi, for the court-appointed Committee of Administrators, mentioned the Lodha Committee report. The court issued directions and accordingly, dismissed the matter.

Source: 7 May 2018, India Legal Live



IOC says boxing still risks being removed from 2020 Olympics

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Boxing still risks being kicked out of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics amid concerns over the sport's governing body, the IOC said on Thursday. The International Boxing Association, known as AIBA, has been in financial turmoil, faced claims of fixed bouts at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, and now has an interim president linked to organized crime.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said issues remained over "governance, financial and sporting integrity" at the Lausanne-based boxing organization. The IOC executive board warned AIBA about its Olympic status in February, and a recent update report "still lacks substance," said Bach as he asked for a fresh update before the next board meeting in July.

Bach cites "serious factual issues" as well as concerns about AIBA's leader. The U.S. Treasury Department has said interim president Gafur Rakhimov of Uzbekistan was involved in heroin trading and froze assets he held in American jurisdiction.

"It's not a personal matter, at least not only a personal matter," Bach said of the IOC's concerns, which included a freeze on Olympic funding since December. Boxing, though, will stay on the events program for the Buenos Aires Youth Olympics in October. One condition of featuring in Argentina will be giving the IOC more details on the way judges are chosen, Bach said.

Governments who "clearly abuse sport for their political purposes" were criticized, as Bach noted a case last month of a Tunisian court blocking four Israelis from competing at the taekwondo junior world championships. The IOC has now put on ice Tunisia's interest in hosting the 2022 Youth Olympics. The freeze will continue until Tunisian officials can guarantee Government cooperation in allowing all athletes to compete.

With Africa the IOC's preferred choice to host its first Youth Olympics, Botswana, Nigeria and Senegal are also in contention.

Bach also declined to comment in detail on a criminal investigation in Austria of the International Biathlon Union.

The IBU's longtime president and CEO-like general secretary left his role last month after being implicated in bribery, fraud and the covering up of Russian doping cases from 2012 through the 2017 world championships, held in Austria.

Meanwhile, the World Anti-Doping Agency's investigation department has provided information ahead of police raids in three countries. A lawyer for Russian doping whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov said the former Moscow laboratory director helped the probe. Bach said the IOC had not been approached for help by law enforcement agencies.

Source: GRAHAM DUNBAR AP Sports Writer, 3 May 2018, Tucson



Wimbledon backs plan to clamp down on tennis corruption

LONDON: Wimbledon bosses have backed plans to restructure the lower levels of tennis in a bid to clamp down on match-fixing involving players struggling to make a living from the sport.

A recent "Independent Review of Integrity in Tennis" report said the lower reaches of the men’s and women’s game provided a fertile breeding ground for betting-related corruption.The problems stem from too many players in the lower reaches, such as the Futures and Challenger circuits, not earning enough to make a living, coupled with the rise of online betting.

A total of 14.5 percent of players who responded to the survey said they had first-hand knowledge of match-fixing but the panel found no evidence of top-level players being implicated in corruption.

The report recommended restructuring of the professional game with a significant reduction in tournaments deemed “professional”, discontinuing the sale of official live scoring data at lower-level tennis and eliminating betting sponsorship in the sport.

With Wimbledon due to get underway in July, the grass-court Grand Slam’s chiefs revealed they support the proposals.“The AELTC (All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club) is fully supportive of the Independent Review Panel’s findings as set out in its interim report,” a statement read,

In particular, the AELTC is fully supportive of the recommendation for a delineation of professional tennis.”The AELTC’s chief executive Richard Lewis added: “It’s always been absurd to call thousands of tennis players professional.

We have been lobbying for several years about players not earning sufficient prize money to cover expenses, or if they aren’t likely to be able to, or aren’t of a sufficient standard, then they shouldn’t be professional.

I would agree with the IRP suggestion. The discussions we’ve had with the ITF, we are not a million miles apart (on what level should be recognised as professional).“We might be quite hawkish and say the cut-off point should be higher at the Challenger Level, maybe the 500 level.

Source: AFP, 2 May 2018, The News


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