Thu, Mar 20, 2014 - Page 18 News List

Australian sports ‘need access to police intelligence’

Reuters, MELBOURNE, Australia

Australia is closing legislative loopholes to fight sports-related corruption, but needs to allow police to share more information with sports administrators, former International Cricket Council (ICC) boss Malcolm Speed has said.

Speed, ICC chief executive from 2001-2008, now heads the Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports, an advocacy group representing the governing bodies of top Australian sports including cricket, rugby and soccer.

Australia has been on the front foot drafting legislation to fight betting-related corruption and convicted two British soccer players in Victoria state in December last year using new legislative powers.

Speed welcomed a move by Australia’s Queensland state, announced this week, to introduce legislation targeted at betting-related crime in sports, but said bureaucracy was slowing the fight against corruption.

“It’d be great if police forces had increased capacity to share information with sporting bodies about suspicious activity,” Speed said by telephone on Tuesday.

“The police forces are restrained by legislation in some states from providing that information. It might be that police forces see a player who is not committing a criminal offence, but is associating with known criminals. They are limited in their ability to pass that information to sporting bodies,” he said. “The sporting bodies, particularly the AFL [Australian Football League], have been pushing for that wider power for some time.”

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