Melbourne, Feb 7: Australian cricket says it is important that major sports and government work together on an urgent, national approach to sports integrity. Cricket Australia (CA) Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland on Thursday said he was shocked when briefed this week about Australian Crime Commission concerns about possible organised crime links with some Australian athletes. But he said cricket was clean in Australia.
"There was no specific evidence or links suggested to Australian cricket, which has a record of proactive management on issues such as anti-doping, illicit drugs, anti-corruption and bans on cricketers and cricket employees betting on cricket," he said.
"But no sport can afford anything other than constant vigilance.
"Sport is an important part of the Australian way of life and fans rightly have high expectations of Australian sports' integrity," he said.
He said this week's advice of criminal interest in sport was a disturbing reminder of the need for an integrated government-sport approach to national sports' integrity.
CA is committed to work actively with other major sports in supporting the federal government and relevant government authorities in hardening up the integrity environment around Australian sport.
In a specific sense, Cricket Australia will immediately implement a review of our own integrity systems, controls and processes to ensure that Australian cricket is fully equipped to deal with the heightened integrity risks that have come to light this week.
CA is a foundation member of the Coalition of Major Participation and Professional Sports (COMPPS) and supported COMPPS' 2011 proposal that Australian Federal and State Governments introduce criminal penalties for match fixing.