News 16th April 2021

Sports Integrity Briefs – 16 April 2021

• Despite discovering evidence that Russia’s Military Intelligence Unit (GRU) was behind hacks into Swedish sporting federations from December 2017 to May 2018, the Swedish Prosecution Authority has discontinued an investigation. “Against the background of parties acting for a foreign power, in this case Russia, we have reached the conclusion that the necessary preconditions for taking legal proceedings abroad or extradition to Sweden are lacking”, said Public Prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist in a statement. Using the monicker Fancy Bears, GRU operatives managed to dupe many into believing that doping in sport is as widespread in ‘western’ countries as it was in Russia.

• The international federation of football associations (FIFA) has ‘welcomed’ a 10 March Decision by the Zurich Labour Court that its 2016 dismissal of Markus Kattner, former Acting Secretary General, was justified. ‘The Court determined that, given the breaches of loyalty committed by this former employee, it would have been inconceivable to allow him to continue working at FIFA’, read a statement. ‘Mr Kattner initially claimed over CHF 10 million from FIFA as “compensation” for alleged wrongful termination. This claim was based on an employment contract signed with him by the previous FIFA administration on 31 May 2015 (four days after the arrests of numerous football officials at the Baur au Lac Hotel in Zurich). That claim was rejected in full by the Court.’ Kattner was sanctioned with a ten year ban for violations of the FIFA Code of Ethics in June last year.

• The International Testing Agency (ITA) has asserted an adverse analytical finding (AAF) against Ekaterina Katina (Екатерина Катина), the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) announced. The AAF is based on the Moscow Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) retrieved by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in January 2019 and its previous investigations into systemic doping in Russia. The 29 year old won Golds in the 2019 and 2020 Russian weightlifting championships.

• Referee Sergey Lapochkin has been provisionally suspended from 25 March to 90 days, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) announced yesterday. The statement revealed that Lapochkin is being investigated for a violation of Articles 11(2)(a) of UEFA’s Disciplinary Regulations, which prohibits ‘attempts to engage in fraud, active or passive bribery and/or corruption’; Article 12(2)(a), which prohibited anyone from acting ‘in a manner that is likely to exert an unlawful or undue influence on the course and/or result of a match or competition with a view to gaining an advantage for himself or a third party’; and Article 12(2)(d), which requires UEFA to be immediately and voluntarily informed of ‘activities aimed at influencing in an unlawful or undue manner the course and/or result of a match or competition’.

• The Serbian football association (FSS) has sanctioned two second tier clubs, after receiving information from the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). The FSS fined GFK Jagodina six million Dinars (€51,000) and deducted six points for ‘endangering and violating’ the integrity of its match against Trajal. It also sanctioned FK Borac 1926 with a four million Dinars (€34,000) fine and a six point deduction for ‘endangering and violating’ the integrity of its match against FK Jedinstvo Uzice.

• The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has reappointed Mohammad Ali Al Kamali of the United Arab Emirates as its Head of Integrity for the term 2021 to 2025. Ali Al Kamali is also a member of the Adjudicatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee. 

• The national operations department (NOA) of the Swedish police has arrested five people in connection with an investigation into match-fixing in tennis, it announced on Wednesday. After house searches took place, the NOA said that the investigation involves ‘large sums of money’.

• The Australian Weightlifting Federation (AWF) has sanctioned Francois Etoundi for failure to submit to sample collection on 16 April 2019, Sport Integrity Australia (SIA) confirmed. Etoundi will be eligible to return to competition on 11 April 2023.

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