Sport’s Integrity

201606.07

Soccer betting with US dollarsSports transcend nearly all boundaries on the planet. Various sports are played in some form whenever people live.

A large segment of the planet enjoys watching or playing sports. This includes the young, the old, men, women and children. The nearly universal appeal of sports often has to do with the excitement of the event. There is a competitive drive that keeps people watching or playing. Fans sometimes make sports an integral part of life by following teams obsessively and always wearing team colors. Unfortunately, the popularity of sports around the world has also made it a target for crime.

Sports attract a wide range of criminals depending on the situations. The crime is not limited to just professional or national leagues. It goes all the way down to amateur and even school-based sports teams. One of the largest problems that law enforcement faces is illegal sports gambling. The act of gambling is illegal in many parts of the United States and a large number of other countries. Formal illegal gambling presents a major problem. The illegal gambling locations are usually very hard to find. Individuals can act as bookies without a central operating location making it even more difficult to arrest the person.  If someone is arrested for illegal gambling, they should call a good bail bondsman.

Illegal gambling in the United States can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the location. People who are arrested for illegal gambling can and do go to jail. The sentence can be up to a year in jail for misdemeanors or 10 years in prison for felonies. People who are arrested for gambling usually need to go through the bail bonds process to be released. Bail bond agencies will secure the full amount of the bond for the defendant. The defendant has to pay a certain percentage of the bond to the agency. The defendant is released once the money is paid. The only thing that has to happen now is the defendant showing up for all court appearances to avoid any future problems or a return to jail.

Illegal gambling is a relatively minor issue when it comes to integrity in sports. A larger problem that plagues organizations like Interpol is match fixing. This occurs when someone who is betting on a match decides to do something to ensure the outcome of the game. Match fixing can involve violence and intimidation. It could also involve an organized alliance between the gambler or bookie and team members who will be playing. Match fixing ruins the integrity of sports by removing the competitive element. It turns games into nothing more than an illegal enterprise to make money at the cost of the sport itself.

Match fixing has resulted in massive scandals involving major sports like baseball, soccer and tennis. Match fixing is often connected to corruption in different countries. Some of the people in charge of regulating sports leagues in certain countries have been implicated in match fixing controversies. A major problem that law enforcement has is proving match fixing. It can be incredibly difficult or impossible to prove that a team or player intentionally chose to lose a game.

A final issue that is challenging the integrity of sports is doping. This is when players decide to use performance-enhancing substances to play better during a game. Doping occurs in every sport even though it is not always caught. Doping affects the game negatively because it removes the honest challenge of one team or player defeating another through training and skill. The illegal substances provide an unfair advantage that the other team or player cannot directly counteract. Stopping doping is incredibly hard because it is another area where detecting the crime is a subjective matter. Actually finding proof of doping can be hard as well since many substances leave the system quickly.

The job of maintaining integrity is sports today has fallen primarily on law enforcement and organizations like Interpol. This is because fans cannot do much to stop these larger crimes. The people in charge of sports teams, professional organizations and leagues also seem reluctant to do anything because it might affect profits or the fans. Efforts are being made to enforce stringent regulations to reduce the likelihood of match fixing, doping or illegal gambling. The efforts are currently underway although the results have yet to be reported.