Zombie Organizations: Interpol, WADA and now FIFA?

As the New Year dawns across the sports integrity world, there are a number of vast zombie organizations staggering across the corporate landscape like half-dead creatures. They have no life, energy or drive. They have given up their fundamental purpose.Their leadership has failed them. They are the institutional living dead. First, let us be fair, many good, decent people work for them. They are trying to do the best they can in difficult circumstances. This article is not an...

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The Death of ICSS’s Credibility

Its over. It cannot possibly stagger on with any belief. The credibility of that awful walking, talking oxymoron of the Qatari-funded agency for ‘sports integrity’ - the International Center for Sports Security (ICSS) is dead. Yesterday, in an extraordinary Football Leaks investigation the credibility of the ICSS was not just killed. They blew it up, collected the ashes, burnt them and scattered them to the winds… (That's enough far-fetched poetic analogies! Ed). The organization was set up to ‘protect sports integrity’ a...

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The Sporting Scandals of the Season

It is in the dog days of summer that the dirty deeds get done. A good habit for European and North American investigative journalists is to check government press releases at the beginning of the July 1st/4th weekend and the Friday before the Christmas Holidays. For it is then, when most people are rushing out the door for their holidays, that bad news emerges from guilty corporations, complicit government departments and cunning media spokes people. In sports corruption, the equivalent are...

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Why the Match Fixers are at the World Cup in Russia

The hot tub of World Cup match-fixing This article first appeared on playthegame.org Potential corruption and match-fixing at the World Cup is aided by corrupt national football association officials, . FIFA’s ‘often odd’ attitude towards these officials protects the fixers at the World Cup. Uncle Frankie, the match-fixer, sat in the hot tub with players from the Swedish World Cup team. It was in a Los Angeles Hotel before their third-place match with Bulgaria at the 1994 World Cup. Uncle Frankie offered the...

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The Pearl Harbor of U.S. Sports Gambling: 7 points on the Supreme Court Decision

There are certain days and events in history where everything changes. One day is ‘before’ - then the event happens and everything is changed ‘after’ that moment.  You can choose your personal moment in history: September 11th, the Fall of the Berlin Wall, Pearl Harbor, Black Tuesday and the Great Depression, the Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, etc, etc… Today, in sports, was one of those events. The American Supreme Court struck down a decades-old law prohibiting sports gambling in the United...

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“You’re Going to Lose, Why Don’t You Lose with Money in Your Pocket?” Five Points About the Tennis Match-Fixing Report

Today, April 25 - the Independent Review of Integrity in Tennis Interim Report came out in London. It cost over £15 million pounds  to complete. Five points: 1. Good job. This was independent and it accurately pointed out something that the sport has hated to admit: Tanking - deliberate under performance has long been part of tennis culture. I mean long - as in a decades long cover-up. For players were not only tanking for their own benefit (if you’re injured you...

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Poor, Old Qatar: labour conditions and the compromised fight against match-fixing

The timing could not be better. Just as the sporting world endures another hot-air session a.k.a. an international conference on match-fixing sponsored by the Qatar 2022 World Cup Committee, out comes a new report on labour conditions in Qatar and the building of the World Cup infrastructure and stadiums. The report,  by the external company charged by FIFA to monitor workers' conditions, makes for sobering reading. It seems – no surprise – that despite all the words, all the clichés, all the high-level negotiations...

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The Grey Market of Match-Fixing in European Football

Its about the grey market – il sistema - of points buying or match-fixing. This is the unspoken of secret that lurks at the heart of many European football leagues. If you have seen the announcement by the Spanish authorities of their request for a ban and jail some 41 of their top footballers, you may be scratching your head as to the driving mechanism of this alleged match-fixing.  The scandal revolves around a match in late-May 2011 between two...

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The Russian Olympic Doping File

It is a slow-moving disaster than penalizes clean athletes and rewards a dirty system. Welcome to the Russian state sponsored doping saga, episode number 58. ** Here is some context. For those readers who do not follow the fast, exciting world of winter sports in the Virgin Islands – the beach training is intense and the air conditioning can be very cold – you may have missed the sad news of Ms. Kathryn Tannenbaum, the skeleton sledder from those temperate isles. Skeleton sledding is...

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