National Integrity Framework: Behind The Competition Manipulation and Sport Gambling Policy

The Competition Manipulation and Sport Gambling Policy (CMSGP) is the latest addition to the National Integrity Framework (NIF) policies introduced by ASAPD. You might be wondering: why does gambling matter in para-sports? Or, what relevance does it have to my sport, especially if it’s not high-performance or elite? This blog provides a brief overview of the darker aspect of sport, and explains why such policies are essential not only for the Australian sporting sector but also for our community at ASAPD.

The Big Picture

Corruption, including competition manipulation, is a global issue in sports, leading to numerous scandals worldwide, including in Para-sports.  For instance, in 2000, the Spanish basketball team misrepresented themselves in the Paralympics, claiming to have athletes with intellectual disabilities, when in reality 10 of the 12 players did not. There have also been cases of intentional misrepresentation, where athletes deliberately conceal the truth of their true abilities or medical conditions to gain an advantage. A well-known case of intentional misrepresentation was that of Vinod Kumar, who received a two-year ban from the International Paralympic Committee for misrepresenting his abilities during classification proceedings at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. Kumar was observed performing several movements and functions which were not consistent with his performance during the physical and technical aspects of classification. Additionally, doping scandals have plagued sports history, further highlighting the need for integrity measures. Recognising these challenges, the Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions, also known as the Macolin Convention, was established to tackle corruption.

More recently, the 2018 Report of the Review of Australia’s Sports Integrity Arrangements, or the Wood Review, detailed the significant threat of competition manipulation to Australian Sport. The review made 52 recommendations across five key themes:

  1. A stronger response to match-fixing
  2. Regulation of gambling and sports wagering
  3. Enhancing Australia’s anti-doping capability
  4. The development of a National Sports Tribunal
  5. The development of a National Sports Integrity Commission

So, what exactly is competition manipulation under the Convention and the CMSGP?

Competition manipulation is sometimes referred to as match-fixing. It is a form of cheating that can involve various individuals, from athletes to officials,  club level right through to international level sport. Under Article 3 of the Macolin Convention, it is defined as any “intentional arrangement, act or omission aimed at an improper alteration of the result of the course of a sports competition”. It may also involve organised criminals who seek to profit off of gambling or benefit through the use of improperly obtained “inside” information.

The CMSGP defines competition manipulation through prohibited conduct, including:

  • Changing the result (or course of a) sporting event, to benefit oneself or others, such as losing a specific period of the match for gambling purposes;
  • Betting on one’s own sport;
  • Disclosing private information – not available to the general public – which could influence gambling;
  • Providing a benefit to breach the policy (or attempting to do so), such as offering money to commit fouls or a breach of the game;
  • Failing to report information relating to competition manipulation, such as blackmail, threats, or bribes to fix a competition.

For more information on the Competition Manipulation and Sport Gambling Policy, check out the following links:

Other Risks

While the CMSGP allows legitimate commercial agreements, such as sponsorship deals or advertising arrangements, with regulated gambling organisations in Australia, it’s essential to understand its requirements and broader issues like competition manipulation techniques. Being aware helps us identify problematic arrangements. For clubs or associations considering such agreements, we recommend involving the Board and Senior Executive level, including discussions with any national governing body.

Apart from sponsorship agreements, certain behaviours pose risks to the integrity of sport, influencing those involved in competition manipulation. These include risks associated with live streaming events, courtsiding and data scouts.

I Think There Has Been Competition Manipulation in My Sport – Who Do I Complain To?

If  you suspect or believe any behaviour constitutes prohibited conduct in the CMSGP, it is mandatory to report it to ASAPD’s National Integrity Manager via email at, or to the organised sport where you believe it occurred. The integrity manager will assist you with further reporting obligations, as some issues may need to be reported to law enforcement agencies.

Once a report is filed, it will be addressed according to the Complaints Dispute and Disciplinary Policy. If a policy breach is confirmed, the matter will be assessed using the case categorisation model to determine appropriate sanctions. Cases reported to law enforcement agencies will be handled under the relevant legislation that governs those organisations and matters.

Further Information

At ASAPD, we believe that knowledge is empowering and we will continue to provide educational resources on various NIF policies via newsletters and our social media channels. We encourage everyone involved in sports, whether at the club, national, or international level, to  learn more about competition manipulation and the risks of sports gambling.  Sport Integrity Australia offers valuable resources on competition manipulation here, and we recommend taking their free short course to enhance your understanding here. The course may even count as continuing professional development (CPD) within your workplace.