ARU warns drugs report 'a wake-up call' for all codes
Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver says the report into drugs in sport is a timely wake-up call for all professional codes.PT2M22S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2e0qx 620 349 February 7, 2013
LAW enforcement agencies investigating claims of match fixing are concentrating on a massive international betting plunge on one A-League soccer game.
The match allegedly attracted wagers of more than $40 million from Asian punters with Hong Kong betting agencies.
Federal Justice Minister Jason Clare said on Thursday that one possible case of match fixing was already under investigation, although he did not identify the sport.
Commission chief John Lawler suspects foul play. Photo: Getty Images
The Australian Crime Commission has refused to divulge details from its 12-month investigation but it confirmed specific allegations had been passed to partner law enforcement agencies.
''We're hopeful that criminal charges will be laid,'' commission chief executive John Lawler said.
It is believed the A-League soccer game was identified as worthy of investigation by international match-fixing experts after the betting plunge. The amount of money held was a massive spike on normal betting trends.
European Union law enforcement agency Europol this week revealed nearly 700 games around the world were suspected of being fixed.
It is believed Europol investigators have been briefed on the A-League betting plunge. The game is believed to have drawn more gambling interest in Hong Kong than a major British Premier League game held the same weekend.
Match-fixing experts look for unusual betting patterns coupled with high scoring to identify soccer games that could have been manipulated.
Fairfax Media has chosen not to reveal the game for legal reasons.
If the Australian Crime Commission decided to investigate the game it could call players and officials to secret hearings and demand financial records of anyone.
All the major sporting bodies at Thursday's public release of findings from the commission's probe into Australian sport have promised to improve their integrity units.
On Thursday, Fairfax Media reported exclusively on police concerns that many codes are ill prepared for attempts to infiltrate sport. Police believe match fixers may be grooming sports stars to cheat, players are at risk of blackmail after buying drugs from crime gangs and overseas players may have come to Australia with pre-existing ties to corrupt betting rings.