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February 11, 2011
Australia's major sports urge government to legislate against match fixing

CHARGED AND STOOD DOWN for giving false evidence -Ryan Tandy of the Bulldogs is tackled by Ben Harris and Nick Slyney of the Cowboys during the round 24 NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Dairy Farmers Stadium on August 21, 2010 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)
by Roslyn Morris, AIPS Secretary General

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN/MELBOURNE, February 11, 2011 – A coalition of major Australian sporting groups including Cricket Australia, the Australian Rugby Union and National Rugby League is seeking government legislation to prevent betting-related corruption.

A press statement issued today on behalf of the Coalition for Major Professional and Participation Sports (COMPPS) by former CEO of the International Cricket Council, Malcolm Speed, asks Australian Sports Ministers to adopt legislation to help sports “future-proof themselves from betting-related corruption”.

COMPPS consists of the Australian Football League, Australian Rugby Union, Cricket Australia, Football Federation Australia, Netball Australia, National Rugby League and Tennis Australia.

The campaign comes hot on the heels of the arrest of Australian rugby league player Ryan Tandy for giving false information to the NSW Crime Commission in its investigation over suspicious betting activity arising from a North Queensland-Bulldogs match in Townsville on August 21. Tandy is facing up to five years in jail and has been stood down by the club. He will appear in court on March 3.

In the international spotlight this week were lengthy bans handed down by the International Cricket Council to three Pakistani cricketers Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir for spot-fixing in a Test match against England last year.

"There have been very few instances of betting-related corruption in Australian sport. The Australian professional sports have an excellent record dealing with these matters. What we are looking for now is help to future-proof the sports from betting-related corruption," COMPPS Chairman James Sutherland said today.

Cricket Australia’s Chief Executive, Sutherland says existing criminal legislation is inconsistent across Australia and does not deal specifically with corruption in sport.

"We recommend that new, nationally-consistent legislation on cheating in connection with sports wagering would be a far more appropriate way to address the risk of sports betting corruption.

"We need a significant deterrent for those who look to corrupt players or influence those who can alter the course of a sporting event." Mr Sutherland said.

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