9th of September 2010 Author: Johnny Karp
Major codes investigate options in the fight against fixing.
Australia's major sports codes are acting independently to stamp out corruption in sport in an initiative rather ponderously titled 'The Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports.'
Participants in the project include the NRL, the AFL, Cricket Australia and the Australian Rugby Union, who have funded and started an investigation to examine options in the fight against gambling corruption.
One possibility may be a permanent gambling commission jointly established by major sports in collaboration with betting agencies and the Australian Sports Commission, which would make forensic investigations into suspicious betting.
Other sports that could be involved include tennis, soccer and netball.
COMPPS executive director Malcolm Speed, a former International Cricket Council chief executive, said a key focus of the investigation, which may run into early next year, was "exotic" betting on "micro" outcomes in sports.
"We're also looking at 'in-play' betting with online and interactive gambling," he told Australian media reporters.
The aim of the investigation was to "make professional sport in Australia bulletproof, or as close to it as possible, from corruption", he said, adding that recent controversies, including the police investigation into suspect betting on the recent NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and North Queensland Cowboys and the sport-fixing scandal in the recent Pakistan-England cricket Test, were the sort of events being studied.
COMPPS is monitoring developments in England, where the gambling commission is supported by sports-specific legislation relating to cheating in sport.
Speed said a gambling commission was "one of many options". Other ways of minimising corruption included allowing sports to "run their own integrity and regulatory programs where they share information among the sports".
There could also be wider co-operation with betting agencies in terms of sharing information.
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