Ac­tion needed on corruption threat: AOC boss

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport -

A NEW na­tional anti-corruption watch­dog with the pow­ers to tap phones is needed to com­bat the scourge of match-fix­ing and il­le­gal bet­ting in sport, says Aus­tralian Olympics boss John Coates.

A meet­ing of sports in­dus­try heavy­weights at the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee ( IOC) head­quar­ters in Switzer­land was told by Interpol that an es­ti­mated $ US140 bil­lion was spent world­wide on il­le­gal bet­ting last year.

Coates and Fed­eral Sports Min­is­ter Mark Ar­bib rep­re­sented Aus­tralia in the four-hour session in Lau­sanne that was viewed as the first step in ad­dress­ing the global prob­lems associated with ir­reg­u­lar and il­le­gal bet­ting.

The re­la­tion­ship be­tween gam­bling and match or spot-fix­ing has been a hot topic in re­cent months with il­le­gal on­line gam­bling in par­tic­u­lar be­com­ing a ma­jor headache for sport­ing bod­ies as it is so dif­fi­cult to mon­i­tor.

‘‘ These are the same is­sues as we had with dop­ing,’’ Coates said fol­low­ing the meet­ing of gov­ern­ments, sport­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions and ma­jor bet­ting com­pa­nies.

‘‘ I think there needs to be some body that is mon­i­tor­ing and some body that is there to in­ves­ti­gate it.

‘‘ We don’t have those re­sources, you re­ally need to tap into the ( Aus­tralian) fed­eral po­lice and be able to phone tap and I think leg­is­la­tion that com­pels peo­ple to come for­ward with in­for­ma­tion.’’

Can­ter­bury

rugby

league

player Ryan Tandy, who is due in court this week, is star­ing at a jail sen­tence for pro­vid­ing false ev­i­dence to a law en­force­ment agency in an NRL bet­ting probe.

And three lead­ing Pak­istani crick­eters were all ef­fec­tively banned for five years last month by the In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil for their in­volve­ment in spot-fix­ing.

Ar­bib said an anti-corruption body, solely con­cen­trat­ing on match-fix­ing and il­le­gal bet­ting, was an op­tion be­ing con­sid­ered by the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment.

One of the ma­jor talk­ing points pre­meet­ing was the set­ting up of a global body to tackle the prob­lem, such as the way the World Anti-Dop­ing Agency deals with il­le­gal drug­tak­ing.

The com­pli­ca­tions of dif­fer­ent laws around the world, plus the work of Interpol and the United Na­tions means that there is no guar­an­tee such a body will be formed.

Interpol has pulled off a num­ber of suc­cess­ful op­er­a­tions in clos­ing down il­le­gal gam­bling op­er­a­tions in Asia over the past three years.

IOC pres­i­dent Jac­ques Rogge re­it­er­ated that il­le­gal bet­ting was a se­ri­ous threat to sport’s cred­i­bil­ity.

‘‘ I think that sport is in dan­ger, it is not about the Olympic Games, it is about sport in gen­eral,’’ said Rogge, who em­pha­sised that shar­ing in­for­ma­tion be­tween na­tions was cru­cial.

‘‘ It is a prob­lem in the en­tire world, there is no safe haven, there is il­le­gal bet­ting where there is the in­ter­net.’’

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