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Match-fixing back in spotlight on eve of first Grand Slam

JUSTIN BERGMAN, Associated Press   For Rafael Nadal and the other stars of tennis, there's a familiar ring to the questions being raised as the first ball is about to be struck at the Australian Open. Recent match-fixing sanctions and a new case are bringing fresh scrutiny to the integrity of the sport a year after corruption allegations cast a pall over the first Grand Slam of the year. '(It's) obviously negative, always in the first month of the season starts to happen,' Nadal said at the season-opening Brisbane International. 'You get tired about this kind of stuff, but the most important thing is fight against these kinds of things.' The headlines started appearing early in the new year. On Jan. 5, police in Australia charged an 18-year-old player with a match-fixing offense at a lower-tier tournament last October in Traralgon, near Melbourne. Days later, another Australian player, Nick Lindahl, now retired but once ranked in the top 200, was handed a seven-year ban and $35,000 fine from the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) for offering to throw a match at a minor tournament in the city of Toowoomba in 2013. Lindahl had already been fined after a criminal trial. Two other Australian players received lesser punishments in connection with the incident. While Traralgon and Toowoomba are far removed from the glittering lights of Melbourne Park, the timing of the developments was troubling nonetheless. Last season began similarly beneath a cloud of suspicion after a report by BBC and Buzzfeed alleged that tennis authorities had suppressed evidence of match-fixing and failed to investigate possible cases of corruption. The reports went over old ground, but the timing and the headlines overshadowed the tournament. 'I haven't heard anything (about match-fixing) since last year's Australian Open,' German player Mischa Zverev told The Associated Press last week in Brisbane. 'I think it was funny timing. ... Like the day before the Oscars, they're going to bring something up to make somebody not win it, or win it.' Since then, tennis leaders have gone into overdrive to restore confidence in the sport. An independent panel was created to review the TIU, the internal body tasked with combating corruption, and authorities promised to implement all of its recommendations when it is completed this spring. The TIU also took separate steps to strengthen its monitoring and investigation efforts, develop new anti-corruption education programs for players, and improve the transparency of its operations. In an email statement to The AP, the agency said nine players and officials were sanctioned last year for match-fixing — the most for a single year since the unit was established in 2008. Several were banned for life, including a young South African player and four officials from Turkey and Uzbekistan. The unit also expanded its outreach efforts with betting operators and regulators, leading to increased reporting of suspicious wagers. In 2016, the TIU received 292 betting alerts — an 18 percent increase over the previous year. The vast majority of those came from the Challenger and Futures circuits on the men's tour, considered the most at-risk for match-fixing given the lower likelihood of detection and the smaller earnings of the players. However, the TIU said three alerts were generated at Grand Slam events, as well. The agency was quick to note, though, that an alert isn't necessarily proof of match-fixing. Of the more than 114,000 matches played last year on the professional tours, only 0.2 percent triggered a suspicious betting alert. 'Tennis was one of the first major sports to recognize the potential threat of betting-related corruption and do something about it,' the TIU said. 'It will be for the independent review panel to take a view on the conduct and effectiveness of the unit and to put forward recommendations to improve the current structure and approach.' Whatever the investigators recommend, the fact remains the TIU faces an uphill battle. Technology has shifted the gambling landscape in such a way, it's increasingly difficult for monitors to keep up. In tennis, wagers aren't just placed on who wins or loses; bets can be placed during matches in real time on everything from total points won in a game to whether a set goes to a tiebreak. 'We're talking individual player activities here,' said Hans Westerbeek, dean of the College of Sport and Exercise Science at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia. 'It's much easier to get into a situation where you approach individual players to do things that can be, if done well, quite well hidden from it being suspicious.' He likens it to the ongoing battle against performance-enhancing drugs. 'You're always struggling to keep up with the innovations that a better-resourced front of gambling operators, legal or illegal, will have available to advance their technology.' Ryan Rodenberg, an associate professor of forensic sports law analytics at Florida State University, says this is one reason a more sophisticated approach is critically needed. He recommends an internal monitoring system that analyzes each match for suspicious activity in real time, rather than relying solely on betting alerts. 'A robust betting data-monitoring operation would have both in-house capabilities and a number of collaborative information sharing agreements with third parties such as sportsbooks, private monitoring firms or academics,' he said. 'Anything less is sub-optimal.' With a limited budget of just $3.23 million for 2017, however, there is only so much the TIU can do. As such, preventative measures such as education have become a priority. More than 25,000 players and officials have completed the TIU's online anti-corruption training program, and a new version will be launched that players will be required to complete every two years. 'Educating players who are up-and-coming and those who support those players is a very good, positive and necessary thing to do,' Westerbeek says. 'Because the root of the problem is ... people not really (understanding) they're engaging in criminal activity.' ___ AP Sports Writer John Pye contributed to this report. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 13th, 2017

Shabu price at its highest at P40,000 per 5 grams

DAGUPAN CITY, Philippines – The street price of the illegal drug shabu has reached its highest at P40,000 per bulto, or a bulk of five grams, according to Ph.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 26th, 2016

Erap on drug war: Don’t single out showbiz people

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has called on the Philippine National Police (PNP) to expand the war against illegal drugs to other professions and organizations where prohibited drugs are prevalent......»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsOct 10th, 2016

Shabu price up 600 percent – PDEA

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, Philippines – The price of shabu has gone up by almost 600 percent due to the intensified campaign against illegal drugs, an official o.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 10th, 2016

Austin Export Be More Pacifics Filipino Fare is Headed to Houston - Eater Houston

Austin Export Be More Pacifics Filipino Fare is Headed to Houston Eater Houston Delicious chicken adobo will touch down in the Heights......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated News4 hr. 18 min. ago

Pag-IBIG illegally increased salaries in 2018 by P248 million – COA

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) said that P248.32 million in Pag-IBIG's salary increases in 2018 was illegal for not having the approval of the budget department and the Office of the President (OP). "The Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) implemented the general ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated News5 hr. 31 min. ago

OPPO Reno 10x Zoom priced at P45,990

MANILA, Philippines – OPPO’s new flagship, the Reno 10x Zoom, now has an official price: P45,990. The less expensive OPPO Reno will retail for P26,990. The Reno line is OPPO’s new flagship line, with the 10x sporting the 10x hybrid zoom first seen at Mobile World Congress 2019 . The 10x uses a triple-camera system ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated News5 hr. 31 min. ago

Marquez: Ramirez killed two months before his scheduled release from detention

CEBU CITY, Philippines –Former Medellin town mayor Ricardo “Ricky” Ramirez was already due for release from detention in August after he served the jail term for his conviction in the illegal possession of firearms and drug paraphernalia charges that were earlier filed against him. But still unidentified armed men ended his life late night on […] The post Marquez: Ramirez killed two months before his scheduled release from detention appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated News9 hr. 45 min. ago

PH won’t summon China ambassador over boat sinking | Evening wRap

Today on Rappler: PH refuses to summon China envoy over boat sinking China omits 'besieging' by PH boats in new statement Ice Seguerra calls out Cardema's Congress bid Trump says U.S. to begin removing 'millions' of illegal migrants Hong Kong leader offers 'most sincere apology' over law turmoil Executive Producer / Writer Lilibeth Frondoso Associate Producer / Publisher Marga Deona Jaira Roxas Master Editor / Playback Emerald Hidalgo Jaene Zaplan Jaen Manegdeg Quita Chuatico –»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated News21 hr. 31 min. ago

This time, justice?

Since the new anti-hazing law or Republic Act 11053 was signed in mid-2018, there hasn’t been a single death due to fraternity hazing recorded in the country......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 18th, 2019

Who gets to bang the gavel

A popular saying goes: A picture is worth a thousand words. It simply refers to the notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single picture. This picture conveys the meaning or essence more effectively than a description does......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 18th, 2019

Over 12K Barangays Now ‘Drug-Cleared’: PNP

More than 12,000 barangays across the country have already been cleared from illegal drugs since the start of the Duterte administration’s crackdown on illegal drugs in 2016, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Tuesday. During the command conference held in Camp Crame, Maj. Gen. Mao Aplasca, PNP Directorate for Operations, said at least 12,177 […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsJun 18th, 2019

PNP clears half of all barangays of illegal drugs

PNP clears half of all barangays of illegal drugs.....»»

Category: newsSource:  cnnphilippinesRelated NewsJun 18th, 2019

PNP: 6,600 dead in drug war

  The government’s relentless campaign against illegal drugs has resulted in the death of 6,600 suspects, the arrest of 240,565 and the surrender of 1,283,409, according to the Philippine Na­tional Police (PNP). The data covers the period from July 2, 2016 to May 31, 2019. The latest figures were an­nounced yesterday by PNP chief Police […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsJun 18th, 2019

Davao del Sur information officer arrested over illegal recruitment

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Police  have arrested a Davao del Sur  provincial information officer (PIO) and another companion over alleged illegal recruitment activities. Police Major Reuben Libera,  Sasa district police chief, said provincial information officer Sherwin Cesar and Jojie Luy Camillo were arrested during an operation in Padada town ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 18th, 2019

Amid online rumors, PDEA-7 assures there is no ‘strawberry quick’ in the Philippines

CEBU CITY, Philippines—Amid arising rumors of the entry and infiltration of a candy-drug among schools in the country, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA-7) stands by its previous statement that no such drug has been reported in the country. Facebook posts have been spreading of an undetected illegal drug called “strawberry quick” […] The post Amid online rumors, PDEA-7 assures there is no ‘strawberry quick’ in the Philippines appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 18th, 2019

Neneng, ginawang sex slave ng adik na amain

Camarines Sur – Siyut sa kulungan ang isang adik na amain makaraan gawin sex slave sa loob ng anim na taon ang stepdaughter na dalagita, iniulat kaninang umaga sa probinsya ng Sipocot, Camarines Sur. Nakakulong ngayon ang suspek na hindi pinangalan sa Sipocot-PNP at nahaharap sa patung-patong na kasong panggagahasa at illegal drugs. Ayon sa […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  remateRelated NewsJun 18th, 2019

For US men, Gold Cup finally brings chance for revival

By Dave Campbell, Associated Press BLAINE, Minn. (AP) — The overarching goal for the fledgling U.S. men's soccer team, as frequently stated by new coach Gregg Berhalter, has been to improve the perception of this sputtering program within the cutthroat hierarchy of global soccer. Though a strong performance in the CONCACAF Gold Cup probably won't move the needle much, the Americans surely would benefit, simply, from winning. Their opening game against Guyana on Tuesday night at Allianz Field in St. Paul, the new home of Major League Soccer's Minnesota United, will mark the first competitive match for the U.S. since the infamous defeat at Trinidad and Tobago on Oct. 10, 2017, that kept the team for qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. It follows a stretch of 18 consecutive friendlies. "There will be some nerves, but for us it's just about continuing to make progress throughout this tournament," Berhalter said last week after a training session at the National Sports Center in Blaine, a suburb of Minneapolis. "I think part of our profession is playing under pressure, playing in big events, and this is a great opportunity for us to learn." The 20-month gap between competitive games is the longest for the Americans since a 38-month span following a loss to Costa Rica on May 31, 1985, their final qualifier for the 1986 World Cup. Their next match that counted was a draw at Jamaica on July 24, 1988, their first qualifier for the 1990 World Cup. The U.S. won the biennial Gold Cup in 2017, a sixth title in 14 editions of the championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean. Mexico, the clear favorite, has won seven such crowns. Before any mental energy can be spent on assessing the ability to compete with their border rival to the south, though, the Americans, who are ranked 30th in the world, must advance from the group stage. On the surface, Panama (75th), Trinidad and Tobago (92nd) and Guyana (177th) don't appear to be daunting competition, but the way the U.S. team played this month in exhibition losses to Jamaica (1-0) and Venezuela (3-0) there will be no guarantees of automatic wins. The Americans are missing injured players DeAndre Yedlin, John Brooks and Tyler Adams, all first-choice starters. "If it doesn't go well you can just feel that more pressure is going to build, more questions will be asked, more scrutiny will be on Berhalter and the federation, and the outside noise is only going to get louder," said former U.S. midfielder Stu Holden, now a Fox analyst. "That's why it's really important that this team has a really good showing in this tournament." With the U.S. women leading their side of the world rankings and off to a dominant start this month in France at the Women's World Cup , the men's team won't be able to avoid the comparison game. The Americans can't mute the fan angst that has followed them for nearly two years, either, but they can at least take a meaningful step forward in the Berhalter era by displaying some potential within the pressing, possession-prioritized style he has rolled out . "We want to progress. Of course that also means winning the games, but we want to develop our style," midfielder Weston McKennie said. "Our goal is to make people see U.S. Soccer as something different as what they see now, probably." McKennie is one of the 20-year-old up-and-comers the program has staked itself to in the quest to not only return to the World Cup in 2022 but do some damage on the sport's biggest stage. The other, of course, is Christian Pulisic , who is joining English Premier League power Chelsea from Germany's Borussia Dortmund for a $73 million transfer fee. That is a record price for an American player. Veterans of the national side like Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley are still around, among just six holdovers from the roster that went to Trinidad. They are joined by Pulisic, defenders Omar Gonzalez and Tim Ream, and forward Paul Arriola on what has become a youngster's team. Getting this team in sync, socially and psychologically, might be just as important of a task for Berhalter as with the technical implementation of his system. "In warmups, they have to give each other high-fives," Berhalter said. "We do team events off the field, like going to movies together and going to restaurants together. I think that's really important to build that team chemistry." Now more than ever. "Everyone right now outside has their opinions about us, and the past couple of games, and that's perfectly fine," forward Paul Arriola said. "For us the message stays the game, and it's staying together as a team. That's how you're going to win an international tournament.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 18th, 2019

Mahigit 30 mga artista, sangkot sa illegal drugs -PNP

GAGAWIN lahat ng PDEA katuwang ang PNP at law enforcement agencies para maging matagumpay ang war on drugs hanggang sa pagtatapos ng termino ng Administrasyong Duterte sa 2022.   SMNI NEWS HINDI magdadalawang-isip ang mga otoridad na batikusin ang entertainment industry kapag may makikita itong nagpo-promote ng illegal drugs. Sinabi ni Brigadier General Albert Ignatius […] The post Mahigit 30 mga artista, sangkot sa illegal drugs -PNP appeared first on PINAS......»»

Category: newsSource:  pinasglobalRelated NewsJun 17th, 2019

Abrugena to cops in drug ops: Wear protective gear

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Wear vests. Police Colonel Manuel Abrugena, Cebu Provincial Police Office director, gave this advice to police officers conducting anti-illegal drug operations amid the wounding of an undercover police officer during a buy-bust operation on Sunday, June 16, in Barangay Cansojong, Talisay City. Abrugena said that police officers should implement preventive measures […] The post Abrugena to cops in drug ops: Wear protective gear appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 17th, 2019