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New Zealand Olympic Committee to challenge cheating in sport

New Zealand Olympic Committee to challenge cheating in sport
October 8, 2013

In an effort to combat potential cheats in New Zealand sport, the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) is to create a new 'integrity unit' to increase the fight against corruption in sport.

Mindful of the global rise in doping, illegal betting and match fixing, the NZOC's move aims to combat the potential creep of corruption into New Zealand sport and create the capacity to punish those guilty of unethical or illegal behaviour.

Fairfax NZ News has reported that the NZOC has approved the creation of an 'integrity working group', based on international guidelines issued by the International Olympic Committee.

The group is to be chaired by NZOC board member Liz Dawson, based on her position on the New Zealand Racing Board and knowledge of the betting industry.

Though the full terms could take up to a year to finalise, the intention is to have the integrity unit operate alongside Crown entities, such as Drug Free Sport New Zealand, and possess jurisdiction capable of reaching beyond just athletes, to entourages as well.

Fairfax NZ News added that Dawson will be assisted by three other staff members, with the quartet expected to call upon anti-corruption experts.

NZOC Secretary-General Kereyn Smith says the main issues will be how much judicial power the integrity unit will be able to wield, and, how effectively behaviour which may be unethical in sport, but not criminal, can be punished.

The NZOC's move follows the Australian Crime Commission's 'Organised Crime and Drugs in Sport' report, released in February, which revealed widespread use of banned drugs in Australian professional sport as well as links with organised crime.

The report prompted New Zealand Sport Minister Murray McCully to charge three New Zealand Crown entities with evaluating the need for a similar doping probe here.

The NZOC board will meet on 18th October to discuss the integrity unit's terms of reference.

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