New Zealand rugby launches anti-corruption drive
The New Zealand Rugby Union has launched a major anti-corruption drive, demanding that thousands of top-level players and administrators sign a pledge to keep the game clean - by Stephane de Sakutin
"We want rugby to remain an honest test of skill and ability. Our sport has a good record, but we can't take it for granted," the union's general manager Neil Sorensen said.
After a string of match-fixing and other corruption scandals in professional sports around the world, Sorensen said it was vital to protect rugby's integrity and to keep reigning world champions New Zealand free of graft.
"We've seen international examples of the damage that corruption can do to sport and we don't want to see that happen in rugby," Sorensen said.
"That's why we're reminding people involved in the game about keeping it free of corruption."
Around 2,000 players, coaches and managers involved in New Zealand rugby at a professional level are being asked to sign a pledge to abide by the new regulations.
All are banned from betting on rugby matches no matter where in the world they are played.
Regulations drawn up by New Zealand's newly-formed rugby integrity unit also ban people involved in the sport from getting anyone else to bet on their behalf, fix or attempt to fix a match, or intentionally perform below their best for reward.
The maximum penalty for corruption is a life ban from the game.
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