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Russian Duma takes tough stand on match-fixing

Moscow, March 13 (IANS): The Russian parliament’s lower house, the State Duma, passed in the first reading a bill containing a raft of strict measures aimed at stamping out match-fixing.

The draft law was submitted to the lower house of parliament by President Vladimir Putin Jan 9 and passed Tuesday.

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The bill, a set of amendments to the law “On Physical Culture and Sport in the Russian Federation,” proposes disbanding federations that fail to ban athletes or team officials suspected of taking bribes, or fail to report fixing cases to the police.

Players, athletes, coaches and other people with the ability to affect a result would be forbidden from placing bets on their form of sport.

At the bookmakers, winnings will only be paid out to people who show identification, which will then be logged for tax-collection purposes.

The betting agents themselves would have new responsibilities too, with the proposed law obliging them to inform the police about large payouts on outside bets.

The legislation would also eliminate loopholes in existing bribery laws, and toughen up the sanctions they carry.

The bill must pass three readings in the State Duma, then voted upon in parliament’s upper house, the Federation Council, and after that signed into law by the president.

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