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In Bulgaria, prosecutors have charged two second division players with match-fixing as part of an investigation into alleged corruption in football. In Belgium, authorities are seeking access to documents by a Portuguese hacker who is under arrest in Hungary and linked to Football Leaks, as part of an ongoing corruption, money laundering and match-fixing investigation in football.

In Australia, the Victoria Police Sporting Unit has arrested the country’s most successful horse racing trainer in an investigation into potential offences against the Rules of Racing. In Kenya, a club owner accused an Ugandan football coach and players of conspiring to lose games they had bet on. Police opened an investigation into the matter. In Thailand, the Metropolitan Police Bureau has arrested a famous Muay Thai Boxer under a court warrant on a match-fixing charge.

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has banned a former international referee for life after being found guilty of taking bribes as part of larger match-fixing schemes. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has welcomed the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to sanction 12 Russian athletes in connection with the findings of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

In the United States, NASCAR’s new Sports Betting Policy prohibits team owners, drivers, crew members and series officials from gambling on NASCAR, and lists penalties including indefinite suspension and hefty fines. In addition, United States lawmakers introduced the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act with rare bi-partisan support to criminalize international doping fraud conspiracies. The proposed law aims to ensure that fraud against American competitors would not go unpunished, with penalties up to a $1 million fine and 10 years in prison.

In the fight against illegal betting, the Turkish police launched an operation to detain close to 400 individuals over links to an illegal online sports betting organization, and in an interesting interview, an illegal bookmaker in the US explains how he managed to build and maintain a successful sports betting operation.

In terms of legislation, Australia is the first non-European country to have signed the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions (so-called “Macolin Convention”, CETS No. 215), making the convention truly international. Following the review of Australian Sports Integrity Arrangements, new governance measures to protect the integrity of sports are now being announced as well.

In terms of governance, we report an update on discussions between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) to keep boxing on the Olympic Agenda, following alleged match-fixing during Rio 2016 and severe governance issue in the boxing federation.

In the field of doping, a famous Kenyan Marathon champion has been banned for two years after testing positive to banned performance enhancing substances.

Finally, we look back at a recent INTERPOL-IOC Integrity In Sport National Workshop in Qatar, and an initiative by the Global Lotteries Monitoring System on cooperation between sports, lotteries, law enforcement and other stakeholders.

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, 18 February 2019.

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The INTERPOL Integrity in Sports Team would like to wish you a happy and healthy 2019!

In an ongoing match-fixing investigation in Indonesian Football, the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) has banned a second-tier club from the domestic league. The anti-mafia task force of the Indonesian National Police arrested an executive member of the PSSI, while another Football Association executive member was banned and fined. The police probed the sports ministry secretary to provide testimonies as well.

In India, a senior Congress MP has introduced the Sports, Online Gaming & Prevention of Fraud Bill in the Lower House of the Indian Parliament. The bill sets to legalize sports gambling across the Indian market and protect the integrity of sports within the newly regulated market. The Bill includes the establishment of a regulatory Gaming Commission.

In Sri Lanka, the International Cricket Council reportedly set up a permanent Anti-Corruption Unit office in Sri Lanka, supported by the government of Sri Lanka, in order to curb match-fixing and related corruption. The government is planning to incorporate a law to prevent match fixing in the Sports Law shortly.

As another example of best practice, a match-fixing Foundation was created by a former Zambian ex-striker, who was tried, convicted and given a suspended jail sentence by a Finnish court for match-fixing after appeal.

In the field of doping, Wada is under pressure to ban Russia again after the Russian Authorities deadline to hand over doping data from the Moscow Lab lapsed. Wada’s athletes body adds to pressure for a new ban. Five weightlifters, including two Olympic champions, have been provisionally suspended after London 2012 retests came back positive.

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, 21 January 2018.

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Next year will be the centenary of the opening of the world’s first commercial greyhound racing track, built in Emeryville, California1. At the time, the town, wedged between Berkeley and Oakland, was a haven for gambling dens, speakeasies and brothels and thus it was thought a greyhound circuit would fit snugly.

Emeryville, where the building of its first dog track predated its first church by 40 years, would later be called the “rottenest city on the Pacific” by US Chief Justice Earl Warren. The track would however only host races for a few months in 1919 as a federal crackdown on illicit gambling and bootlegging ruined the night at the dogs for the e’villes, as the locals liked to call themselves.

But greyhound racing would soon thrive in other parts of the US, notably in Florida, which, post-Prohibition, was one of the first states to legalise gambling on the greyhounds in 1931.

Today, greyhound racing has been illegal for decades in its original state of California and last month Florida banned betting on the sport2. This means that as we approach its centenary as an industry, the sport is effectively dead in the US. And the prognosis internationally is equally grim.

AuthorJack Anderson
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In Belgium, three players from the country’s U16 women’s team were approached by a Turkish man who offered them $50,000 each to influence the game during an international tournament. Also in Belgium, the federal health minister is considering scrapping social security advantages granted to professional football players, following recent corruption and match-fixing investigations in the country.

In Cyprus, more than 30 friendly games were allegedly fixed from 2016 to 2018. The Cypriot company who arranged the games is suspected to be connected with a senior match-fixing organizer and leader of a Singaporean match-fixing syndicate. In Colombia, women’s Copa Libertadores winners Atlético Huila are said to hand over their entire $55,000 prize money from South America’s football federation CONMEBOL to pay off their men’s team’s debts.

In Indonesia, the country’s soccer association (PSSI) executive committee members announced his resignation following his involvement in a match-fixing case. In Japan, the French regulatory authority for online games (ARJEL – Autorité de régulation des jeux en ligne) banned bets on a Japanese Championship match between Kashima and Sagan Tosu. In South Africa, two British citizens allegedly linked to illegal sports betting and match-fixing syndicates were arrested during the Mzansi Super League match. In the United Arab Emirates, a corrupt approach was reported in the second edition of the T10 League after a member of the support staff of the Bengal Tigers was approached by a person seeking direct contact with the players.

Over the past weeks, several sanctions were applied in tennis, snooker, badminton and football. As well, two men were arrested for organizing cricket fighting in an underground Chinese casino where more than 300 individuals placed bets of $140,000.

In tennis, an Italian player has been banned for life and fined $250,000 USD after being found guilty of match-fixing. In addition, a former Italian tennis player has also been banned from the sport for 10 years and fined $100,000 USD after being found guilty of match-fixing. Also in tennis, a Brazilian player has been provisionally suspended in relation to an investigation by the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU). In snooker, two Chinese players have been banned from the sport after being found guilty of match-fixing. One player was banned for 10 years and nine months and the other player was banned for six years. In badminton, the sport’s world body has banned for life and fined a Mauritian council member for alleged misuse of funds, including money intended for an Olympic athlete. In football, a Korean player received a lifetime ban from the Korea Football Association after an attempt to fix a domestic league game. Also in football, Express FC become the second Uganda Premier League club to suspend their captain due to alleged match-fixing.

Recently, the United Kingdom became the 34th Council of Europe member state to sign the Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions. The United Nations recently adopted a resolution <https://stillmed.olympic.org/media/Document%20Library/OlympicOrg/News/2018/12/Sport-as-an-enabler-of-sustainable-development-EN.pdf> on Sport as an enabler for Sustainable Development. The Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS) published its Code of Conduct available here <https://gallery.mailchimp.com/d3dd17a9afdcf674100aa8954/files/32be7d84-1646-4e4c-9b7d-c7e546b85718/18_Code_of_Conduct_formatted_final.pdf>. The Brazilian Senate approved a new lottery and sports betting measure. The United States is moving towards more robust regulations in the sports betting market with a new regulatory body Sports Wagering Integrity Monitoring Association (SWIMA). The recent International Partnership Against Corruption in Sport (IPACS) meeting discussed how to manage conflicts of interest in awarding major sporting events to ensure the process is fair and transparent and developed tools to prevent corruption around procurement at sports events and the way infrastructure contracts are awarded.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to initiate a procedure which can lead to the withdrawal of recognition for the International Boxing Association (AIBA). The IOC has also slowed its support for recognizing electronic gaming as a sport. USA Gymnastics filed a bankruptcy petition as it as it attempts to reach settlements in the dozens of sex-abuse lawsuits it faces and to forestall its potential demise at the hands of the US Olympic Committee.

Lastly, two Vietnamese senior police officials were jailed for 10 and nine years after being found guilty of running an underground online gambling ring which raised millions of dollars. A former Guatemalan FIFA executive declared that he was offered hundreds of thousands of dollars in return for his vote for the 2018 World Cup. As well, a FIFA ethics committee judge has been suspended after being arrested over allegations of corruption in Malaysia. Also, Kenyan National Olympic Committee secretary general steps down over corruption cases linked to Rio 2016.

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, 24 December 2018.

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Sport is unpredictable, but one thing history has taught us is that not all participants in sport will play by the rules; there will always be opportunists looking to gain an unfair advantage. Therefore, I have been somewhat surprised that, given all the hysteria, scandal, discussion and debate on doping in sport, this reality is not genuinely acknowledged nor sufficiently addressed in the current anti-doping regulatory framework, with specific reference to the system underpinned by the World Anti-Doping Code (the Code).

Few would argue, in a criminal context, that even with the most robust rules in place, thorough investigatory teams and technologies, and the harshest deterrents, crime could be completely eradicated. In a similar vein, it seems naive to expect that we will ever reach a point in global sport where all participants abide by the same rules, and where no athletes, coaches or support teams use or administer (intentionally or otherwise) substances and methods on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Prohibited List1 (the Prohibited List - the merits of which are for discussion in another article) or commit any offences under The Code.

So, if we know for certain that some people will find a way to manipulate or cheat the system, then it would seem logical to anticipate this and provide redress for the individuals (more often than not an athlete) who will inevitably be impacted negatively in an economic and sporting context as a result of deficiencies in the current anti-doping framework. To some extent, these deficiencies are simply a by-product of the complex reality of how the World Anti-Doping Agency was created – the geo-political nature of sports and international regulation requires global co-operation and financial contributions in order to continue to exist.

AuthorSean Cottrell
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Over the past two weeks, media covered various match-fixing cases in several sports, results of operations related to organized crime and betting, as well as new partnerships and best practices in the world of sports.

In tennis, a Guatemalan player has been banned from tennis for three years and fined $5,000 after admitting to match-fixing and failing to report a corrupt approach to the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU). In cricket, a former Sri Lanka all-rounder was suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after charging him with match-fixing during the T10 League in the United Arab Emirates in 2017. Also related to cricket, India won the plea to extradite a suspected cricket bookie from the United Kingdom. In football, a Liverpool striker denied gambling on his sport after the Football Association found him guilty of misconduct for placing bets in January 2018.

Badminton Denmark indicated that the Badminton World Federation (BWF) should sanction Chinese players for a match at Fuzhou China Open which they believe was fixed.

BWF stated it would not comment on the issue prior to receiving a report from the tournament’s organizers.

Italy's anti-mafia police arrested 68 individuals accused of mafia association, money laundering, fraud and tax dodging in a large scale operation on organized crime groups making millions through online gambling. Some 800 policemen were mobilised to bring in suspects from families in the south of Italy from the Cosa Nostra in Sicily, 'Ndrangheta in Calabria and Sacra Corona Unita in Puglia. The total of assets seized, including real estates, companies and bank accounts, were worth around one billion euros.

Portuguese authorities working alongside Europol and Eurojust have arrested 30 individuals in Portugal for providing illegal gambling services. Operation Shadow Game is said to have spanned Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal and Switzerland and used servers and software for the development of games of chance, lotteries and sports betting. A total of €576,000 in cash was seized, alongside 3,000 computer devices used for illegal gambling, 22 firearms, 86 vehicles, and several bank accounts holding more than €6m.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) published new statistics showing that 33 offshore betting sites withdrew from Australian markets over 12 months. Reforms to the Interactive Gambling Act 2001, which came into effect in September 2017, expanded the ACMA’s powers to take action against prohibited and unlicensed offshore gambling sites. Maximum penalties of nearly $8 million per day can apply to corporations.

Also in terms of betting, Dutch gambling regulator the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has fined Curaao-based CyberRock Entertainment and its Cyprus-based subsidiary Honeydew Trading €350,000 for running an illegal gambling site. In India, police arrested more than 100 individuals for gambling and seized approximately $30,000 in cash and $250,000 in chips.

In terms of new partnerships, the Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS) and Europol signed a Memorandum of Understanding to share information on competition manipulation and increase their cooperation in the field of education and capacity-building. Additionally, the National Basketball Association (NBA) signed a multi-year partnership with Francaise des Jeux (FDJ), making it the NBA’s first-ever European gaming partner.

INTERPOL and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) conducted an Integrity in Sport Regional Workshop on 6 and 7 November 2018 in Frankfurt, Germany. The workshop <https://www.interpol.int/News-and-media/News/2018/N2018-131> brought together more than 70 representatives from German law enforcement, government, betting entities and sports organizations, as well as high-level delegations from Austria and Switzerland. The event was hosted in close cooperation with the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) and the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB). It was supported by the Council of Europe and Sportradar. The event allowed INTERPOL to strengthen its links with key members of its Match-Fixing Task Force and reinforce ties with investigators for the sharing of information, intelligence and best practices.

A Swiss prosecutor who led a four-year corruption investigation into the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and international soccer officials is out of the job. The agreement to terminate his employment contract came following joint discussions between Switzerland’s attorney general and the said prosecutor who was cleared of possible misconduct in the FIFA investigation.

FIFA’s President stated that he will request the term “corruption” is restored to the ethics code covering world soccer after criticism over its symbolic removal.

The Chairman of Association Sportive de Monaco Football Club (AS Monaco FC) has been charged by Monaco prosecutors in an investigation into suspected corruption.

The next bi-weekly bulletin will be circulated on Monday, 10 December 2018.

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The International Cricket Council (ICC) has recently suspended Sri Lanka’s bowling coach for match-fixing and other corruption conduct in the sport. Also in cricket, a former South African batsman pleaded guilty to eight corruption charges and is facing a potential 15-year sentence. The sportsman is being charged under the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act of 2004, which makes match-fixing and spot-fixing in sport a crime in South Africa. This is the first time that this act is being exercised.

Young tennis players across Spain have allegedly been detained by the Guardia Civil in an investigation into alleged match-fixing on the ITF Futures and Challenger tours. They are suspected of being involved with the Armenian mafia.

Former Ghana Football Association (GFA) president was handed a life ban from all football-related activities and fined 500,000 Swiss Francs by Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) following various violations of the governing body’s ethics code, including bribery and corruption. He was found guilty after being filmed by an investigative journalist in a hotel room appearing to take a $65,000 bribe from a supposed businessman.

Media reports that an investigation of more than 70 million documents analysed over eight months by 80 journalists from members of the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) revealed that the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) knowingly helped clubs such as Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City to cover up their irregularities, therefore avoiding the most severe Financial Fair Play punishment, namely being excluded from UEFA Champions League.

Two officials at a suspended Romanian anti-doping laboratory have been removed from their posts after being found to have covered up positive samples. The Bucharest Laboratory was provisionally suspended by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in November 2017 due to non-compliance and has yet to be reinstated. Last week, WADA has also revoked the accreditation of the Laboratório de Análises de Dopagem (Lisbon Laboratory) due to non-compliance with the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL) and its related Technical Documents.

In a bid to tackle match-fixing in sport competitions and addiction among gamblers, Albania’s parliament has recently passed a law banning sports betting and other forms of gambling from 2019. Albania’s sports betting industry has an annual turnover estimated at 700 million euros, raising concerns about its impact on low-income families and the integrity of national sport.

In terms of good practice, Victoria Police has signed a Letter of Agreement with the Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS) in a bid to continue targeting suspicious betting activity on Australian sporting events. Police will be alerted to irregular betting patterns and receive alerts of suspicious betting activity on sporting events nationwide. The alerts will be sent to the Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit for investigation. GLMS will not be able to access any law enforcement data.

INTERPOL’s Project Stadia has launched its Knowledge Management System (SKMS) to support host countries in their safety and security preparations for major national and international public events. Creating a global network of experts in the field of major event policing and security, SKMS provides real-time information on emerging incidents, events and emergencies.

Lastly, twenty people risk being ordered to stand trial for alleged corruption in the long-delayed plans to build a new stadium for Roma. Prosecutors in Rome wrapped up their investigation last week, nearly five months after the stadium’s main constructor and eight other people were arrested for alleged wrongdoing linked to bureaucratic matters involving the proposed venue. Prosecutors also allege that payments were made illegally in cash, along with bills for non-existent job hires and counselling.

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, 19 November 2018.

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The "withering" findings in The Ethic Centre’s review1 of Cricket Australia’s culture and governance have implications for all Australian sports.

In March 2018, Cameron Bancroft of the Australian men’s cricket team with the prior knowledge of his captain, Steve Smith, and vice-captain, David Warner, was seen on TV cameras tampering with the ball2 during his country’s third test against South Africa in Cape Town.

By scratching the ball with yellow sandpaper to make it swing, Bancroft roughed up more than just one side of a cricket ball. He also damaged the reputation of Australian cricket globally and in particular its governing body, Cricket Australia (CA).

In the seven months since the incident, CA has seen its chief executive, high-performance manager, chief integrity officer (who immediately flew to South Africa to investigate the matter), all depart. And, of course, the senior men’s team has a new coach and captain.

Not all these departures flowed directly from the ball tampering incident, but one direct result was for Cricket Australia to commission a review of organisational culture and governance in the senior men’s international team.

AuthorJack Anderson
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The Singapore Grand Prix is a highlight of the F1 circuit. The night race attracts fans from around the world and looks spectacular on TV. The bright lights and razzmatazz are generally seen as a huge attraction to sponsors and broadcasters. However, Ofcom (the British regulator of TV broadcasting in the UK) felt Formula One Management (FOM) had gone too far1 with its commercial creativity in its coverage of the 2016 race. 

FOM's live feed (which is adopted by official broadcasters around the world) was embellished with a Rolex countdown 'watch' which was digitally superimposed2 into the arc of the observation wheel which towers over the Marina Bay circuit. The Rolex countdown watch appeared in the footage for around 17 seconds, as the broadcast counted down to qualifying.

AuthorAlex Kelham
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