Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
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”.