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Australian sport integrity review recommends crackdown on sporting cheats

Australian sport integrity review recommends crackdown on sporting cheats
August 1, 2018

Federal Minister for Sport Bridget McKenzie has today recommended sweeping reforms to protect Australian sport from the illegal betting industry.

Revealed at the National Press Club as part of the Australian Government’s Sport 2030 plan, the findings of an integrity review of Australian sport has suggested that athletes who collude with bookmakers could face jail time under a proposed crackdown on sports cheats.

Recommendations outline making match-fixing a Commonwealth criminal offence and stripping protection against self-incrimination for suspected drug cheats.

The review also proposes a tough new national sports integrity commission and national sports tribunal, strengthened powers for the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority and dropping the prohibition against online, in-play betting.

The report advises that “Australia lacks a cohesive, well-resourced national capacity to confront and respond to domestic and international match-fixing and related corruption in sport”, adding “the potential consequences of a loss of public confidence in sports integrity because of competition manipulation and doping are profound.”

The review was led by James Wood QC, who headed a Royal Commission into corruption in the NSW Police.

The proposed national sports integrity commission would have the powers to conduct electronic surveillance of athletes, coaches and sports officials suspected of match-fixing.

Australian Federal Police, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, the Department of Home ­Affairs and state and territory police would all assist in investigations.

Former Federal Sports Minister Greg Hunt commissioned the review last year as part of the National Sports Plan.

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