News 16 March 2016

Sports Integrity Briefs – 16 March 2016

• South Africa’s Premier Soccer League (PSL) has charged players with match-fixing, after a whistleblower told Zimbabwe’s Herald newspaper that Polokwane City duo George Chigova and Lebogang Motumi; Bloemfontein Celtic’s Patrick Tignyemb and Lantshene Phalane; University of Pretoria goalkeeper Washington Arubi; and former Chippa United defender Mbhuyiselo Sambu were paid by an Asian cartel to under-perform. ‘The League takes allegations such as these very seriously and has preferred charges against those who have been named’, read a PSL statement. ‘The Disciplinary Committee of the League will hear the charges on the 30th of March 2016 and the League has every confidence that the process will be expeditious and effective’.

• The Ukrainian Athletics Federation (UAF) has withdrawn Nataliya Lupu (pictured) from this week’s World Indoor Championships, after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) expressed concerns about her use of meldonium. ‘It was decided to cancel the trip to Portland to Natalia for the 2016 World Indoor Championships, where she was due to compete at a distance of 800 metres’, read a UAF statement. ‘Currently, the relevant UAF authorities are in consultation with WADA about the situation’. Lupu claimed that she had been taking meldonium since 2001, but had stopped taking it last year. ‘In 2001, I found some changes in a cardiogram’, she wrote in the UAF release, stating that she had been prescribed mildronate ‘because for my diagnosis, it is the drug best suited to me’.

• Noah Ngeny, the former Athletics Kenya (AK) athletes’ representative who resigned from his position last week has accused AK of doing nothing to combat doping, while calling for elections to bring in new officials into the new organisation. WADA found last month that ‘there is still a lot of work required’ before the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) becomes compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code. On 5 April, WADA will consider whether it needs to make a recommendation to its Foundation Board that it should find Kenya non-compliant with the Code.

• The CEO of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), Steve Simon, told The Telegraph yesterday that he is ‘convinced Sharapova made an honest mistake’. On the day of Sharapova’s admission, Simon said that he was ‘saddened’ to hear the news but that Sharapova is a ‘woman of great integrity’, statements which he continues to stand by. Simon said in a further interview that Sharapova’s ‘test was positive’ and as a result, ‘no athlete is above the rules’.

• A joint meeting between officials from the Zimbabwean and South African government and football authorities is expected to take place in Cape Town today. According to the Zimbabwean news site NewsDay, FIFA officials are also expected in the country this week. It is also reported that hearings for suspects in Zimbabwe will start this weekend. Both countries have embroiled in match-fixing allegations surrounding various domestic and international football matches in the past week.

• New Zealand horse race trainers Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott have reportedly pleaded guilty at a Judicial Control Authority for racing (JCA) tribunal to presenting three horses to race with a prohibited substance. The pair were charged by the Racing Integrity Unit (RIU) late last month after an investigation found that a number of horses had tested positive for cobalt above the permitted threshold.

• The UK government’s 2016 Budget includes a proposal to introduce a levy based on the amount of sugar in soft drinks. The levy will be used to double the amount invested in primary school sport to £320 million per year from September 2017. The budget also pledges to launch a consultation on how to expand the support that can be given to grassroots sport through the corporation tax system; and also highlights that sporting testimonials will be subject to income tax from April 2017.

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