Why do professional athletes match-fix?
This is a question often asked when new match-fixing cases surface. Richard Mclaren of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) believes that for some, the answer is found in a slippery slope of betting.
“Betting on your own sport is a gateway to match-fixing. It can start innocent enough with small bets, but before long you might be compelled to drop the match for easy money.”
Athletes should know better
Richard McLaren explains that most players caught match-fixing pleads ignorance, and that years ago that would have been a viable excuse, but today the reality is different.
Case in point being the recent sentences in tennis and cricket were the defendants pleaded ignorance, but still was sentenced to long bans and substantial fines.
The bans range from months to lifetime bans, and the fines reached 100.000 dollars and above.
Part of the solution
According to Harri Syväsalmi from the Ministry of Culture and Education in Finland, the athletes need to take responsibility.
“Athletes need to be a part of the solution from the beginning instead of being a part of the problem.”
But according to Nick Garlick, senior specialist in organized crime networks from Europol, the law might need to be more lenient on the athletes themselves for a solution to be possible.
“Banning people for life for match-fixing may not be productive. It creates fear among the athletes, and makes reporting the crimes much less attractive for players.”