News 4th September 2015

Latvia to criminalise the manipulation of sports competition

Latvia is to criminalise the manipulation of sports competitions, announced the Ministry of Justice and the Latvian Olympic committee (LOK) on Wednesday 2 September. The country will amend its Sports Law to define the manipulation of sporting competition as ‘any action that focuses on a sporting competition or its result with the intention of influencing the course of a sporting competition or result’.

Amendments to the country’s criminal code will mean that match-fixers face a prison sentence of up to one year, community service or a fine. However, if the same acts are associated with ‘material value, property or acceptance, transmission or offering of benefits of another nature’, transgressors could face a three-year prison sentence. If the same offences are committed by an organised group or on a large scale, a five-year sentence is possible. It is planned that the new measures will be introduced from 1 January 2016.

“The Latvian Olympic committee and Latvian sports organisations should have a zero-tolerance policy when it has been established that any of these offences have taken place”, said LOK Secretary-General Žoržs Tikmers in a statement. “We are convinced that these measures represent a very powerful took in the fight for Latvian sports”.

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