IOC vows to crack down on illegal betting

Acapulco: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is planning to increase its efforts to tackle illegal gambling in sport ahead of the 2012 London Games by working closely with governments and betting agencies.

Although the IOC said there were no reported cases of athletes being involved in illegal gambling at previous Olympics, the governing body was under no illusions that it could eventually happen.

"There used to be a time, a long time ago now, when people used to say there was no illegal doping in their country," IOC president Jacques Rogge told a news conference at an IOC meeting on Sunday.

"There is illegal betting in every country in the world."

"Some (countries) are more effective (in preventing it) than others but not necessarily free of this new scourge of sports."

Rogge said the complex nature of illegal sports betting made it almost impossible for sporting bodies to identify breaches so the IOC was relying on help from governments and betting organisations to alert them to any suspicious activity.

"How you decide there has been illegal betting is not always easy because more and more illegal bettors bet on a particular aspect of the game," Rogge said.

"It could be a run in cricket, it could be a double fault in tennis, it could be a corner in the first two minutes of a football match. It is very difficult to judge this."

"We are also helped by the betting partners and the flow of money going into these bets, but it`s not black and white and (is) sometimes difficult to look at."

Bureau Report