9th July 2021

Sport Integrity Briefs – 9 July 2021

Luís Filipe Vieira, President of Benfica, has been arrested by judicial authorities, the Portuguese football club announced. ‘Approximately 45 each warrants, covering corporate premises, domiciles, law firms, and a banking institution’, were issued, according to a statement from Portugal’s Central Department of Investigation and Criminal Action (DCIAP). ‘The searches took place in Lisbon, Torres Vedras, and Braga. During proceedings, four people were arrested; two businessman, a sports manager, and a sporting agent.’ The DCIP statement confirmed that the investigation is connected to potential tax fraud, and the Benfica statement insisted that the club isn’t involved.

• Two weightlifters and a mixed martial arts (MMA) athlete have been sanctioned for anti-doping rule violations (ADRVs), the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) announced. Weightlifters Marat Nizamutdinov (Марата Низамутдинова) and Vitaly Bityutskiy (Виталия Битюцкого) have both been sanctioned with a four year bans after prohibited substances were detected in their samples. Nizamutdinov’s ban will run from 8 June 2020, and Bityutskiy’s ban will run from 19 May 2020. Murad Idrisov (Мурада Идрисова), an MMA fighter, has been sanctioned with a four year ban from 18 December 2019, after a prohibited substance was detected in his sample.

• Lawyer Michael Avenatti has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison for attempting to extort Nike, reports Reuters. In the original lawsuit, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) alleged that Avenatti threatened to release damaging information about the sportswear manufacturer unless it paid him US$1.5 million.

• A statement from lawyers representing Daniyar Ismayilov (below) has confirmed that proceedings are in progress against the weightlifter, but has warned about ‘untrue reports’ and ‘unfounded and misleading information’ appearing in the Turkish media. Several media organisations have reported that anti-doping proceedings are in progress.

• A Fan Engagement Survey has been launched as part of the UK government’s Fan-led Review of Football Governance, which was announced in April following concerns over attempts to launch a European Super League. The Survey will run for two weeks from today, and will allow football fans to provide their views on football finance, governance, ownership, and regulation.

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