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London Olympic VeloPark
Betting has overtaken doping threat, says Minister
The London 2012 Olympics will have a new targeted intelligence unit specifically tasked with fighting betting syndicates. It comes after the UK government’s Olympic Minister, Hugh Robertson, told the Sunday Times that fixing had overtaken doping as the Olympic Games’ biggest threat.
The unit will be made up from the IOC, police forces and the Gambling Commission in order to stop athletes from being bribed ahead of events.
The BBC reports that, “The specialist team will monitor suspicious betting patterns and share intelligence on those who attempt to bribe athletes into fixing events.”
Robertson stressed the importance of the group in the fight against illegal activity.
"You cannot underestimate the threat this poses because the moment that spectators start to feel that what they are seeing is not a true contest, that is when spectators stop turning up and the whole thing turns to pieces," he said.
"At some stage over the next two or three years, we will have some other sort of betting scandal in some sport. I just hope it's not at the Olympics."