IAAF defend against potential gambling scandals

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has moved swiftly to reduce the likelihood of gambling scandals besetting their sport after allegations that the death of Pakistan Cricket coach Bob Woolmer was related to the gambling underworld.

Speaking at the World Cross-Country Championships in Mombasa, Kenya, the association voted to "forbid officials, athletes, their representatives, managers, coaches, meeting organisers and trainers from taking part, either directly or indirectly in betting, gambling and similar events or transactions connected with athlete competitions under the rules of the IAAF or its members"

In addition, it will also prohibit those in the sport from "having active stakes in companies, concerns, partnerships, joint ventures or other organisations that promote, broker, arrange or conduct such events or transactions".

The move comes soon after the launch of athleticbet.com, a gambling website launched in January specialising in betting for Athletics. The website is owned by the Austrian agent Robert Wagner, who can count former Olympic champion Colin Jackson as a former client.

Wagner set up the website in order to make the sport more exciting and donates a quarter of the website’s profits to the IAAF’s charitable foundation.

It will be interesting to see how the IAAF deals with Wagner’s side-business, as some of his clients include IAAF members. Though there doesn’t seem to be much more of a future in the website, especially as Wagner took bets on races involving his own clients, he remains defiant.

"I have been expecting this and I understand the IAAF's position. I will just not be an agent any more. I will sit down with the IAAF and find a solution. They cannot stop me from running a betting website,” Wagner declared.

Editor, Jackpot.co.uk - 2007-03-27 11:23:05

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