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Volume 10 No. 25

Leagues and Governing Bodies

Australia's largest corporate bookmaker, Sportingbet, "has backed calls for a complete ban" on promoting live odds in sports broadcasts and launched "a withering attack" on bookmaker Tom Waterhouse, according to Heath Aston of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Sportingbet "joined market leader Tabcorp in voicing concern at the damage being done to the gambling industry by the growing public outrage at the intrusion of betting into football coverage." Sportingbet CEO Michael Sullivan, said that he would support a full ban for the good of the industry, and accused Tom Waterhouse of "acting irresponsibly." Sullivan: "What he's doing now is affecting all our businesses. I'm the biggest consumer of rugby league in the world and it makes me sick in the guts when he comes on TV." Australia's largest betting operator, Tabcorp, "has also gone public with its concern at the public outcry and a call for the Gillard government to step in with a national regulatory framework to replace state-based systems" (SMH, 5/23).

Spain's Association of Professional Basketball Players (ABP) has informed clubs that if demands are not met, it has "agreed to an indefinite player strike starting Sunday, coinciding with the quarterfinals of the Liga Endesa," according to Sergio Vera of SPORT. The ABP has presented to the Spanish Basketball League (ACB) and all its clubs a negotiation of the '93 collective bargaining agreement. The players are demanding an increase to the current minimum salary of €25,000 ($32,065) and a doubling of the current coverage of the Wage Guarantee Fund, as well as a streamlining of these processes. The ACB offered "a conciliatory response." The ACB's statement said, "The Association is open to continuing to negotiate with ABP representatives with the goal of drafting the framework of a deal that would satisfy all parties and guarantee the future of the competition" (SPORT, 5/21).

Accused cricket fixer Shanthakumaran Sreesanth "faces the possibility of life in prison after he and his alleged co-conspirators had charges against them upgraded by Delhi police," according to Ben Doherty of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Sreesanth and Indian Premier League Rajasthan Royals teammates Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila have now "been charged with criminal breach of trust, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment." But while attention remains on Sreesanth as the highest-profile player arrested, "the fixing scandal continues to widen." Eighteen people "have now been arrested." In addition to the three players, "four former first-class players, and 11 bookies have faced court" (SMH, 5/22).

MORE TROUBLE: The PTI reported bookie Sunil Bhatia "ran a temple in Nagpur eyeing the offerings made by believers and induced a cricketer" who was just earning Rs 2,000-3,000 ($36-$54) after being banned by the Board of Control for Cricket in India into manipulations. Bhatia also told police that "he fixed matches of the rebel Indian Cricket League and even some matches of Bangladesh Premier League" (PTI, 5/22). The PTI also reported there is more trouble for the arrested cricketers and bookies after the Income Tax department "has begun a probe into alleged hawala and illegal cash transactions and will question them." The I-T department has contacted the investigators of the Delhi police and initiated a "tax evasion and suspected hawala dealings" related probe into the latest allegations of spot-fixing (PTI, 5/22).

The promotion companies of the FIA World Rally Championship, the sportsman media holding and Red Bull Media House "have created a new joint venture, called WRC Promoter GmbH, according to RALLY MAGAZIN. The new company, which is headquartered in Munich, "will be in charge of WRC's marketing." The company's new managing directors "will be Red Bull Media House's Jona Siebel and the sportsman media group's Oliver Ciesla." The WRC Promoter GmbH is in charge of all commercial aspects of the rally world championship. This includes marketing of media and sponsorship deals as well as the production of TV broadcasts (RALLY MAGAZIN, 5/21).

The Argentine FA confirmed after its exec committee meeting Tuesday that Buenos Aires clubs Boca Juniors and River Plate will play Saturday at 9:30pm, as the government had proposed. A formal protest by Boca Chair Daniel Angelici  was rejected (CLARIN, 5/21). ... England will underline its determination to restore its pre-eminence in the women's cricket game by "making two high-profile appointments to replace the former coach Mark Lane" (GUARDIAN, 5/22). ... The National Rugby League has "hired an independent firm to investigate the circumstances which led to allegations of assault involving South Sydney forward Ben Te'o." Te'o "has denied the allegations" -- which reportedly left a Brisbane woman with a black eye -- and Queensland police has "ended its investigation after all complaints were withdrawn" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 5/22). ... UEFA's exec committee approved that "starting with the '15-16 season, the winner of the Europa League will compete in the Champions League the following season" (MARCA, 5/22).