Sports CorrruptionFour South African cricket players have been banned by Cricket South Africa (“CSA”), following multiple breaches of the CSA’s Anti-Corruption Code for Personnel.  The players banned are Jean Symes, Pumelela Matshikwe, Ethy Mbhalati and former South Africa Test wicket keeper, Thami Tsolekile.

Tsolekile, the most high profile of the banned players, received a twelve year ban for:

  • Seeking to fix a match in the 2015 Ram Slam T20 Challenge;
  • Failing to disclose to the CSA Anti-Corruption Officer the full details of an approach to engage in corrupt conduct;
  • Failing to disclose full details of matters evidencing a breach of the Code by another participant; and
  • Obstructing or delaying the investigation by destroying evidence relevant to CSA’s investigation.

CSA’s investigation into the players’ conduct followed an investigation into the former player Gulam Bodi, who admitted to trying to fix matches in the 2015 Ram Slam T20 Challenge.  Mr Bodi admitted to acting as an intermediary for international betting syndicates and approaching players in order to fix elements of matches.

This is not the first time that corruption offences have affected South African cricket. Famously, the former South African captain Hansie Cronje, was banned from cricket for life in 2000 for his role in match fixing and spot-fixing offences.

Clearly the CSA remains live to the risks posed to the sport by offences of this nature.  Many other sporting bodies are also investing increasing time and effort in order to combat corruption and integrity offences and Squire Patton Boggs has advised a number of its clients in relation to these issues.