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24 May 2010

Australian Sports Form Anti-Corruption Alliance, by Greg Tingle - 24th May 2010

The reputation of Aussie sports, thus sports business, and to a broader degree, entertainment industry, has a take a bashing of late. Desperate to fix up ala "fix the fix" et al, a broad range of Australian sports are teaming up for the greater good. A sports betting fix and salary cap rorting re Melbourne Storm was the recent trigger, but most insiders agree there's been issues with the integrity of Australia sports for decades, and we're not just talking about Aussie Olympic team and management stuff ups. Media Man and Gambling911 go crash tackling, body slamming and Hills Hoist clotheslining with this report...

Australian sports have formed an alliance to share information that could help guard against corruption arising from the burgeoning sports gaming industry.

Sports heads from Aussie Rules, rugby, soccer, tennis and netball (no NRL or MMA) formed the Coalition of Major Professional & Participation Sports (COMPPS) this week.

The group said in a media statement last Friday its formation reflected "the importance of continuing public confidence in the integrity of major sports' results".

"There have been concerns about corrupt gaming's influence in some sports in some parts of the world and the newly constituted COMPPS group sees the importance of guarding against corruption in Australian sports gaming as one of our priorities," Executive Director Malcolm Speed said.

"Australia has an excellent sports gaming integrity reputation, which we want to maintain and as a first step, we will start sharing information within the COMPPS membership." ...well, that's what they said, but we detected a bit of spin. It's not the word on the street or in balanced news media reports. Mind you, the Storm, snooker championship and Aussie - Indian cricket got everyone very suspicious and tainted Australian sports across the board.

This new collaborating would share information about codes of conduct, education and disciplinary processes in a bid to strengthen sports integrity, the statement said.

The group's establishment comes off the back of the probe by the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit into Pakistan's under-performing tour of Australia this year.

The unit's outgoing chairman Paul Condon, who confirmed the probe on Thursday, warned that match-fixing could be ruinous to cricket if the sport was not vigilant about rooting it out.

Significant, ok, huge, match-fixing scandals have also broken in snooker, and European and Chinese soccer in recent months. These attracted international headlines.

Former world snooker champion John Higgins was suspended by the sport's governing body earlier this month after a newspaper reported he had agreed to take a bribe to lose frames, and published damaging photographs of a handshake deal.

German police dismantled a gang of more than 200 suspects operating in nine European leagues in November, while Chinese authorities have arrested in excess of 20 league and club officials for match-fixing offences as part of a probe sparked last year.

Team Media Man, Gambling911 and the loyal readership are hoping things return to normal, and the way they should be, for Australian and international sport in the near future.

Good hunting and happy punting, and may the best and fairest team win.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They also publish Australian Sports Entertainment
http://www.australiansportsentertainment.com

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