May 1, 2014 (ISN) – Claims the outcome of football matches at Atlanta 1996 and Beijing 2008 were subject to match-fixing have been dismissed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) until concrete evidence is produced.
This came after Singaporean businessman and convicted match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal claimed to have successfully arranged matches at both Games in a book published this week.
In the book, entitled Kelong Kings and written by Perumal in conjunction with two Italian journalists, he claims to have fixed a specific game in Atlanta before placing “substantial bets” with Asian bookmakers.
He also details a failed attempt to bribe Mexico goalkeeper Jorge Campos by giving him $300,000 (£178,000/€216,000) in cash, only for the player to refuse his offer and leave the hotel room where the pair were meeting before calling for security.
He claims to have then enjoyed more success in influencing elements of non-specific matches at Beijing 2008, by arranging for players from one team to ensure their side took the kick-off in two separate matches.
But, in a statement to insidethegames today, the IOC claimed they had found no irregularities suggesting match-fixing, before urging people to come forward if they had more concrete evidence.
“Since Beijing 2008, the IOC has been monitoring betting activities at all editions of the Games and no irregular patterns nor irregularities have ever been recorded,” the statement said.
“The IOC does not usually comment on allegations made in media reports and would invite all parties to send any available information to the IOC.
“The IOC has shown consistently that if and when there is tangible evidence it would look at it and take appropriate action.”
Perumal is one of the most notorious figures in match-fixing and the 48-year-old has admitted being a key part of a Singaporean-based syndicate which allegedly rigged football matches at club and international level.
After serving a stint in a Finnish jail in 2011, he was arrested again in Helsinki last week after police acted on an international arrest warrant issued by authorities in Singapore.
It is hoped he will now be extradited back to his home country to face trial.
Perumal is one of many figures from his country to have been involved in a match-fixing scandal in recent times and another businessman, Ding Si Yang, is currently involved in a long-running trial over accusations he bribed three Lebanese match officials into fixing an Asian Football Confederation match in Singapore in April 2013.
Until now, the Olympic Movement has faced less match-fixing allegations than elsewhere than other sports, such as in football, cricket and snooker.
But this does not mean it is not an issue which the IOC is taking seriously and in recent months, like with measures to tackle doping, it has formed a key part of Agenda 2020 under new President Thomas Bach.
When unveiling Agenda 2020 last December, Bach unveiled details of a $10 million (£6 million/€7 million) fund to protect athletes from “any kind of manipulation or related corruption”.
In January, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was passed between Bach and Interpol secretary general Ronald Noble to provide a framework for enhanced collaboration between the two organisations.