ollowing the police's revelation that they had charged five men for match-fixing in online gaming, David Sharpe, who from mid-year will head Sport Integrity Australia (SIA) said he will work with the nation’s esports industry in the fight against betting-related corruption.
As reported by Reuters, detectives from the Victoria Police Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit charged the men with serious offenses subject to maximum penalties of 10 years' imprisonment, alleging that players in Melbourne and regional towns threw matches they had bet on during a gaming tournament last year.
"I had early discussions with a former (esports) CEO around integrity within their sport and I am looking forward to engaging with them in my new role to work around the potential risks and threats," Sharpe told The Australian newspaper. "I think there will be discussions to do that, particularly given our access to global intelligence."
Sport Integrity Australia
The new agency, due to begin operations on 1st July has appointed David Sharpe as their inaugural Chief Executive. Sharpe, who will be handed sole discretionary powers, will head up the SIA when it amalgamates the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) with the National Integrity in Sport Unit, and various functions of Sport Australia, such as child protection into one body.
The appointment, announced by the Federal Minister for Sport Richard Colbeck, is part of the Government’s commitment to the Review of Australia’s Sports Integrity Arrangements (Wood Review) recommendation to establish a cohesive sports integrity capability along with the National Sports Tribunal.
SIA will work with integrity units in sports including the NRL, AFL and at community level to protect organizations and sports that are vulnerable.
Sharpe says the creation of SIA will bring together key stakeholders such as National Sporting Organisations, athletes, and agencies as well as sports integrity capabilities around the world to ensure every base is covered.
Global interest in esports has soared during the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced traditional sports to temporarily shut down.
Major sporting leagues, including the National Basketball Association in the United States and soccer’s English Premier League have staged esport tournaments featuring professional players in home isolation.