Jean de Villiers (Gallo Images)
Eastbourne - With this year’s Rugby World Cup set to break betting records for the tournament, the Springboks have had to sign anti-corruption contracts and have been warned of the implications of insider information at the tournament.
World Rugby announced on Monday that they had implemented a comprehensive anti-corruption strategy for the tournament, especially in the light of threats to integrity of the game as experienced by other sports.
The integrity programme was presented to the Springbok management before the start of the tour and again earlier this week with players and management being required to complete the World Rugby anti-corruption and betting education programme and sign a pledge to not break the covenants of this programme.
“When teams and match officials arrive in England for the tournament, supplemental education is planned through the medium of an in-person briefing from World Rugby integrity officers. These officers, who are all experts in the field of sports integrity, will be present throughout the tournament to deal with any queries or issues teams or officials may have in relation to integrity and to protect the participants from any unauthorised third-party approaches,” a statement from the organisation said.
The Springboks were briefed this week and have all completed the programme, which sets big fines for non-compliance.
“In conjunction with these partnerships, World Rugby has contracted the world’s leading betting monitoring agency, Sportradar. Using its widely trusted Fraud Detection System (FDS), it will monitor global betting markets for any suspicious betting behaviours and anomalous odds movements. In addition, the FDS will also monitor the volumes across the markets to provide a unique insight into potential infringements of the integrity code.”
World Rugby Chief Executive Brett Gosper said: "Corruption is a big issue in sport and we have seen how some sports’ reputations have been damaged by incidents of match-fixing and other breaches of anti-corruption rules. While there is no evidence that a problem exists in rugby we would be naïve to think it could not happen and it would be irresponsible not to implement appropriate measures to guard against it.
“Rugby is now part of the Olympic family and anti-corruption considerations are an integral part of the Olympic Charter. So we have a wider responsibility to the global sports family to uphold the principles of fair play and integrity in every aspect of the tournament. Anti-corruption is a crucial part of that."