Top athlete faces betting probe


One of the country's top athletes might face the wrath of World Athletics' (WA) Integrity Unit over allegations of involvement in sports betting, which contravenes the rules of the game.

The athlete (known to this publication) represented the country at the just-ended Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. An incident that occurred during the Olympics alerted the authorities to the possible transgressions. “He has always been a favourite, especially during World Championships and Diamond Leagues. But when that incident occurred in Tokyo the authorities felt there was another hand at play.

They felt the incident was not a natural occurrence. World Athletics wondered why that happened,” a highly placed source within the BAA told Mmegi Sport. The source said the athletics body, WA has written a letter to the BAA and copied to the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC), raising concerns over the athlete. “There are issues around the athlete that the World Athletics wants to find out.

They did comparison analysis and it did not make sense to them, which is why they are seeking answers,” the source said. But BNSC chief executive officer (CEO), Tuelo Serufho said he was unaware of an investigation involving the athlete. “I am unaware of the investigation and would suggest that you engage the BAA president on this,” he briefly responded. BAA president, Paphane Botlhale flatly denied the reports. “I am not aware. Kindly share the letter, as I have not received any. Who informed you? We have not received any letter to investigate anyone,” Botlhale said.

The 2019 World Athletics manipulation of sports competition rules prohibit any form of betting related to an event or competition in athletics, including betting with another person on the result, progress, outcome, conduct or any other aspect of such an event or competition. “This rule applies to any form of betting related to an event or competition in athletics whether or not the applicable person is directly participating in the event or competition in question, and to any form of betting related to an event or competition in a sport other than athletics taking place at an international competition organised by a major event organisation in which the applicable person is directly participating,” the document reads.

The document further states that any violation of rules amount to a violation of the code and will accordingly be subject to investigation and prosecution by the Integrity Unit under the Reporting, Investigation and Prosecution Rules (Non-Doping) and possible disciplinary proceedings under the Disciplinary Tribunal Rules.

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