Match-fixing to be targetted at Australian Open

December 23rd, 2007 - 8:17 pm ICT by admin  

Melbourne, Dec.22 (ANI): Police and authorities at Tennis Australia have decided to launch a joint anti-corruption operation against match fixing at next month’s Australian Open.
Tennis Australia has established an anti-corruption commission headed by a senior barrister and police have set up a special taskforce to protect the “integrity” of the Open following recent allegations of match-fixing on the international circuit.
Tennis Australia has appointed former homicide detective Sal Perna as its internal investigations officer and named Brian Collis QC as the chair of its new anti-corruption commission.
A crackdown on online betting will lead to publicly accessible computers at Melbourne Park being blocked from accessing gambling sites and a ban put on unauthorised courtside laptops.
Tougher restrictions on accessing players will also be introduced, along with a telephone hotline, where tip-offs about corrupt behaviour, including the payment of bribes to throw matches, can be left, The Australian reported.
Police are warning that anyone caught match-fixing could face up to 15 years in jail.
Tennis Australia chief executive Steve Wood said the measures for the Open, due to get under way on January 14, are being taken to ensure corruption did not get a foothold in tennis.
“This is an interim protection measure for the Australian Open while globally our sport completes a comprehensive and independent analysis of the overall threat to the integrity of tennis. I fully expect that analysis will lead to the formation of a global integrity unit for tennis next year. In the meantime, I am very comfortable with what we have put in place,” Wood said.
The Victoria Police taskforce, codenamed Operation Onsets, includes special investigators and analysts, who will monitor betting activity during the Open looking for suspicious activity. (ANI)

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