Australian sports stars may soon possibly face prison terms for match-fixing if the new laws proposed by sports minister Bridget McKenzie are implemented. The new proposed system would see the nation’s current sports integrity system redesigned along with a new national sports court being employed.
McKenzie made a list of proposals for the country’s sports industry following the release of a government report detailing all the threats the area is currently faced with. The report detailed several recommendations in the area, including harsher penalties for those caught using performance enhancing substances.
The proposed changes come after the federal government’s sponsored inquest into Australia’s sports industry found that the country currently lacks an organised manner in which to respond to match-fixing within both domestic and international competitions. It was further stated that should Australian sport lose the confidence of the public; the cost could be dire.
This is especially true when one takes into account that the industry was considered to be worth over AU$11 billion in 2017 and continually growing.
The report found that of all sports proven to be popular in the country, tennis was the one most likely to be affected by match-fixing. (The 2016 Australian Open match-fixing scandal still rings clear in the minds of many. Along with tennis, Aussie rules football and cricket were also stated to be sports that may be heavily-influenced by external parties.
The second major area Minister McKenzie aims to tackle with her new proposal is that of doping within professional leagues. With the new proposed laws, any athlete caught using banned substances could be stripped of any protection from self-incrimination.
Although the recommendations made in the report have yet to be implemented, they have received support from the Australian Olympic Commission. Whether or not these changes will be implemented remains to be seen.
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