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article imageBritish police to target illegal gamblers during London 2012

By Samuel Okocha     Jan 2, 2012 in Sports
The risk posed by foreign betting syndicates is making UK’s Olympic chiefs put together a special unit to help prevent illegal gambling syndicates from bribing athletes at the 2012 Summer Games.
According to Sky News, Sports Minister Hugh Robertson described foreign betting syndicates as a threat capable of soiling the reputation of London 2012 Olympics more than doping.
"That comes from illegal gambling syndicates in the Far East and on the Indian subcontinent that comes from the evidence of what we have already seen happening in this country with the incident at Lord's 18 months ago, " Mr. Robertson told Sky News. "There are the conditions there in the Olympics for this to thrive."
To check the activities of the gamblers, officers from the Metropolitan Police, Interpol and the Serious Organised Crime Agency are to make up the unit that will identify spot-fixers and stop them from approaching athletes.
They will also monitor betting patterns for any signs of suspicious activity.
"We're reasonably clear that we can police the UK end of it," Mr. Robertson told the BBC. "The much more difficult element is how you police illegal syndicates probably operating a long way away from these shores."
The International Olympic Committee has created a unit to watch the global gambling market for unusually large bets on particular events or competitors, reports the Daily Mail .
According to the BBC, three Pakistani cricketers were jailed in November for spot fixing during a 2010 Test match against England.
Spot betting is said to involve who gamblers stake money on the details of sporting encounters, such as the precise timing of the first throw-in during a football game.
More about London 2012 Olympics, illegal gambling syndicates, Hugh Robertson
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