An Australian rugby union official has "denied the sport is tainted by a gambling problem" despite the union signing a "ground-breaking agreement" with an int'l authority to monitor online betting trends. The ARU has entered into an 18-month agreement through next year's British and Irish Lions Tour with Global Sports Integrity to track the betting markets of more than 100 bookmakers in Australia and across the world. ARU Integrity Manager Phil Thomson said, "We've not had any previous issues with gambling as some sports have had in this country recently. We've now put in place what we at the ARU believe to be a world-best practice to ensure our code's integrity is maintained (THE AUSTRALIAN, 6/25).
LACKING EVIDENCE?: In N.Y., O'Connell & Albergotti reported lawyers for cyclist Lance Armstrong urged the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to "drop plans to bring formal doping charges." In an 11-page letter to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's independent review board, Armstrong attorney Robert D. Luskin charged that USADA "lacked evidence against his client and that it was violating its own procedures in bringing the case." Luskin also accused the organization of "bribing athletes in exchange for offering testimony" against Armstrong (WSJ, 6/22).
CHANGE OF VENUE: In Phnom Penh, H S Manjunath reported the scheduled launch of the Cambodian Basketball League at the Old Stadium has been cancelled. The competition has been "put on hold for a few weeks" while organizers prepare to shift the event to the new Beeline Arena, located on the Chroy Changvar peninsula. The venue change came "after a partnership deal" between the CBL and Banzai, a Phnom Penh-based events organization company which owns the Beeline Arena. CBL co-founder Curran Hendry said, "At this stage we are looking at a possible launch in mid-July" (PHNOM PENH POST, 6/22).