Other sports are in a fix too...
Sport, with its instant drama and the dedicated, often over-the-top, fan base, is a gamblers' paradise. Even athletes in ancient Olympics were charged for manipulating results for material gains. HT recaps fixing claims in other sports:sports Updated: May 17, 2012 23:52 IST
Sport, with its instant drama and the dedicated, often over-the-top, fan base, is a gamblers' paradise. Even athletes in ancient Olympics were charged for manipulating results for material gains. HT recaps fixing claims in other sports:
The 2006 Italian football scandal, known as Calciopoli, was the most high-profile in the sport. Telephone conversations between club managers and referee officials suggested games were fixed by selecting favourable referees during certain games in 2005-06.
Juve were stripped off two Serie A titles (2004-05, 2005-06) and relegated to Serie B, where they were penalised nine points (2006-07). Fiorentina and Lazio successfully appealed against demotion.
In June 2005, the German football association (DFB) and German prosecutors launched separate probes into charges that referee Robert Hoyzer bet on and fixed several matches that he worked, including a German Cup tie. Hoyzer admitted to this and also implicated other referees and players in the match-fixing scheme.
Turkish, Greek and Korean Leagues have also come under the scanner recently. A Korean player committed suicide triggering fixing allegations in the K-League in May 2011.
Turkish club Fenerbache was banned from participating in the Champions League in the 2011-12 season after investigation.
Match-fixing murmurs began in 2007 when Nikolay Davydenko retired in a match against Martin Arguello, ranked 74, in Sopot, Poland. There were allegations of Davydenko underperforming after it was found out that there was uneven betting pattern during the match. He was, though, cleared of any wrongdoing.
Italian Alessio Di Mauro was banned for nine months and fined £30,000 for placing 120 bets between November 2006-June 2007. None of the bets was for matches he played in.
Five Italians were punished by the ATP for betting on matches - receiving suspensions ranging from six weeks to nine months in 2007 and 2008.
In May 2011, Austrian player Daniel Koellerer became the first player to be handed a life-ban for match-fixing. In October last year, 659th-ranked David Savic also received a life ban for "contriving or attempting to contrive the outcome of an event."
Basketball suffered because of "point shaving", a type of match fixing where one player can influence key events by deliberately missing shots without causing the team to lose the game. College basketball has had many of these -- Dixie Classic scandal (1961), the City College of New York (1950-51) and the Boston College (1978-79)
Eight members of the Chicago White Sox team were banned for life for throwing their games in the 1919 World Series against Cincinnati Reds. The conspiracy was mainly hatched by William Burns and Billy Maharg who had connections with the underworld.
Match-fixing is a very real and persistent problem. But the romance associated with sport should not be debunked entirely. Given the number of athletes involved in the gamut of professional sport all over the planet, it is still a very small percentage that indulges in these activities.
First Published: May 17, 2012 23:50 IST