Australian sports form anti-corruption alliance

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

Sports chiefs from rugby, soccer, Australian Rules football, tennis and netball formed the Coalition of Major Professional & Participation Sports (COMPPS) this week.

The group said in a statement on 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.”

The group would share information about codes of conduct, education and disciplinary processes in a bid to strengthen sports integrity, the statement added.

The group’s establishment comes amid a 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.

Major match-fixing scandals have also broken in snooker, and European and Chinese soccer in recent months.

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.

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

Bureau Report