The NBA Gamble

If you are a sports fan, you are probably slightly obsessed with the Tim Donaghy case. Donaghy was one of the highest ranked referees in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was also a gambling addict. For four years, he worked with illegal gamblers and bookmakers betting on his own games. The betting industry either never caught him or the few that did notice the strange odds movements, like the Gambino-connected bookmakers in New York, bet on his games for their...

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’Sometimes we fixed more games than we could bet’

In an exclusive interview with Play the Game, a former match-fixer tells how effectively criminal syndicates are still manipulating sports results despite all initiatives against it. The whole approach against match-fixing could be wrong, Declan Hill reports.  This was first printed at: https://www.playthegame.org/news/news-articles/2019/0584_sometimes-we-fixed-more-games-than-we-could-bet/ ** The knock came late at night. Marko Stanovic – whose name has been changed to help protect him from the mob – was in one of the world’s great match-fixing gangs. A group whose criminal ties stretched deep...

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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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How to Fix the European Championship

  This is an article that I hate to write. I hope that fixing does not happen at the upcoming European Championship. I hope that no teams, players or officials are involved in corruption. However, for all the football fans that are concerned for the integrity of the beautiful game here is the blueprint of how match-fixers go about corrupting a big international football tournament. I write this because the only way to find proof of match-fixing is to mount proper investigations....

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King of the Mediocre

On the bright side, he has never actually been convicted of fraud, racketeering or money laundering. He has also never been arrested for corruption. No has ever caught him on hidden camera offering bribes or election gifts. Ummmm... well, thats about it really. The news that Canada's own Victor Montagliani was elected president of CONCACAF, the continental confederation in FIFA representing North, Central America and the Caribbean, is another underwhelming sign of the lack of reform inside FIFA. For international readers here...

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Requiem for a Football Legend: Michel Platini

So he is gone. Michel Platini's drink at the last chance legal saloon of the Council for the Arbitration of Sport (CAS - the supreme court for sports) just ended.   Here is the background. Michel Platini “advised” Sepp Blatter, the former president of FIFA, between 1999-2002. Just before the 2011 FIFA Presidential election, where Michel Platini chose not to run against Blatter, he received a payment of 2 million Swiss Francs from Blatter. Their story was that this payment was in recompense...

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Tennis Match-Fixing

Credible and good.  The Buzzfeed investigators - John Templon and Heidi Blake - should be congratulated. Three more facts. One, I was with a major monitor of sports gambling fixes.  They are experts in this world. Their people were estimating approximately one fixed match a week in the the tennis world. Two, I interviewed a player and then two senior investigators who told me that some tennis players make more money fixing games than playing honestly. Three, the secret reports that the story...

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Singapore’s Middle Finger to the Sporting World

Well this is interesting. Dan Tan the man Interpol once described him as the “the mastermind and leader of the world’s most notorious match-fixing syndicate” has been  released from jail by a Singapore Appeal’s Court judge. Three technically accurate points and a chronology: 1)    It is technically true, the appeal judge’s assessment is accurate: there is no available evidence that Tan ever fixed a match in Singapore. 2)    It is technically true that Interpol described Tan, after he was arrested, as “the mastermind...

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7 lessons from the IAAF and Russian Doping Scandals

So now we know. Now we know that the Russian anti-doping system in sport was largely a sham: a Potemkin village of a program designed to give the appearance of an effective fight but in reality enabling widespread doping among their athletes. Now we know that at the very heart of athleticism and the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) that was a deeply corrupted system that enabled doping athletes and coaches. Here are the lessons that we can learn: 1)    The myth...

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