7th July 2020

Sports Integrity Briefs – 7 July 2020

British gymnasts have told Sky Sports News that emotional and physical abuse are common, and that British Gymnastics didn’t take complaints about welfare issues seriously. The allegations include inappropriate analysis of the physique of gymnasts, such as getting peers to offer comment; threats to remove mobile phones due to complaints to parents; training though serious injury; and aggressive and intimidating coaches. ‘British Gymnastics is reaching out to any gymnast, either current or past, that has concerns around specific incidents or behaviours and encourages them to contact our Integrity Unit at integrity@british-gymnastics.org, read a statement from British Gymnastics. ‘This unit has the power to investigate any persons within British Gymnastics or its member clubs and take the appropriate action’.

• An investigative report (video below) has uncovered evidence that match fixers are targeting the media representatives of Kenyan clubs in order to fix games. Steven Heywood, media liaison for Bandari FC, told NTV Kenya that officials are offered US$5,000 to fix games and can face physical violence if they do not comply. He also outlined that fixers often target the data entry scouts to delay the reporting of goals by up to five minutes, in order to facilitate bets being placed on the next to score. The investigation also found that referees are paid KES7,500 (€62) for officiating in a Kenyan Premier League game; and KES5,500 (€46) for officiating in a National Super League game. It argued that this might push some officials towards corruption.

Hugo Genestet, joint Captain of the Fench hockey team, has denied that he has retired and has told L’Equipe that he plans to fight to prove his innocence, after reporting an adverse analytical finding (AAF) for cocaine on 9 February. “I will clearly do everything to prove my innocence”, he told the newspaper. “I was stunned by this news and I intend to fight because I am absolutely not a consumer of this type of substance”. Genestet was tested by Belgium’s Organisation Nationale AntiDopage Wallonia (ONAD), as he plays for a Belgian club, and has been provisionally suspended since 26 June. ONAD will announce its verdict before the end of the month.

• The Football Federation of Armenia (FFA) has cancelled its First Division Championships, after disqualifying five clubs and 58 people for match-fixing. Amongst the 58 people sanctioned, 45 were issued with lifetime bans. A statement outlined that the clubs involved are Aragats, Torpedo, Masis, Lokomotiv, and Yerevan. All were issued with two year bans following an investigation in association with Armenian law enforcement, UEFA and bookmaker Starlizard. “The process of unveiling match-fixing is not over yet”, said FFA Chairman Armen Melikbekyan in a separate statement. “The special expert groups will continue their work and will try to find all the cases of match-fixing. This year we also implemented the licencing system for Armenian First league clubs. It will help us to identify all the clubs which have suspicious legal structure or cash flow. Our main goal is to eradicate corruption and institutional match-fixing from Armenian football. Thanks to all who collaborated and helped FFA during those months.”

• The Institute of National Anti-Doping Organisations (iNADO) has clarified that its support for the ONDCP Report, outlined in a 3 July statement, ‘is limited to the part suggesting more independence and athletes’ representation at the governing bodies of WADA. iNADO wants to take this opportunity to reiterate its support to an effective and trusted WADA. This can only be achieved if all stakeholders around clean sport collaborate and ensure proper funding of WADA. This is needed to implement the results of its governance review and lead the global fight against doping. The global anti-doping system can only be advanced in a constructive dialogue built on mutual collaboration and trust of all stakeholders.’

• Licensed harness trainer Nigel Raymond McGrath has been sanctioned with an eight year ban by New Zealand’s Judicial Control Authority (JCA) for Racing. The Full Decision outlines that he was sanctioned for attempting to administer an alkalising agent to a horse via a gastric tube; refusing to make a statement; and obstructing an investigation.

• Formula 4 racing driver Mrinalini Singh has blamed an adverse analytical finding (AAF) for beta blockers on an Inderal pill given to her after a race by a doctor, reports The Hindu. It is understood to be the first time an Indian female competing in motorsports has reported an AAF.

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