News 15th March 2016

Sports Integrity Briefs – 15 March 2016

• The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has published a transcript of President Sir Craig Reedie’s keynote speech to the Tackling Doping in Sport conference in London. In the speech, Reedie highlighted that there have been 850 anti-doping rule violations since the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code came into force; that 30 athletes have been sanctioned under the athlete biological passport (ABP) programme since 2015 out of a total of 90 sanctions since the ABP came into use in 2009.

• The United Nations has suspended Maria Sharapova as a Goodwill Ambassador following her positive test for meldonium, reports The Guardian. However, Sugargoop! has decided to stick by her. “While we are surprised and disheartened by Maria Sharapova’s recent announcement, we value our relationship with her as a co-owner of Supergoop! and ambassador for our common cause of conquering the epidemic of skin cancer”, said Holly Thaggard, Founder & CEO of the skincare brand. “We appreciate Maria’s candor and will continue to support her as the ITF investigation unfolds”.

Femke Van Den Driessche (pictured) has decided not to contest a Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) disciplinary hearing after a motor was found on her bike during the women’s U23 Cyclo-cross World Championships. “I have decided for myself to stop cyclo-cross”, Van Den Driessche said in a statement reported by The Guardian. “The costs of the meeting in Switzerland will be too high for me. An acquittal is impossible – the bike was in my pit zone.”

• Former South African Football Association (SAFA) President Kirsten Nematandani has told local media that an international match-fixing ring may have been behind the bans imposed on officials by FIFA yesterday. It is understood that the bans relate to international friendlies played in South Africa in 2010. Last year, the South African Sports Minister criticised FIFA for not doing enough to deal with the allegations. The South African World Cup warm-up games are believed to have been manipulated by referees working for a sports betting syndicate controlled by Wilson Raj Perumal and associate Dan Tan. It is understood that Perumal’s agency, Football 4 U International, had been involved in the organisation of some of the games.

• Over 24 top tennis players should be investigated for possible links to betting syndicates, Italian prosecutor Roberto di Martino told the BBC. He says their names have appeared in evidence seized from gamblers suspected of fixing matches. They reportedly include two players who have been ranked in the world’s top 20.

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