Both have decades of experience in combatting international sports corruption linked to illegal betting and other financial crimes.
As Chief Commissioner, Mr. Ashton was the key driver in setting up Victoria Police’s Sporting Integrity Unit, which was the first law enforcement unit anywhere dedicated to combatting match-fixing and is regarded as the leading police sports integrity unit in the world.
Mr Marinelli, a Criminal Intelligence Officer seconded to INTERPOL from Italy’s Guardiadi Finanza (Financial Police), has been instrumental in leading the work of INTERPOL’s Match-Fixing Task Force since the creation of this initiative, which involves law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders from around the world to combat match-fixing and corruption in sport and maintains a global network of match-fixing investigators to share intelligence and best practices.
With the addition of these new members, the Taskforce now comprises 14 experts in sports and racing integrity, law enforcement, academia, and intergovernmental relations.
Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, chairman of the Asian Racing Federation, said: “The threat from illegal betting is one of the key challenges facing the global racing industry. The ARF is committed to combatting this threat both by sharing its own expertise, and engaging with other stakeholders from the wider sports environment. We are delighted to add the expertise of Mr Ashton and Mr Marinelli to the Taskforce.”
Martin Purbrick, chairman of the ARF’s Anti-Illegal Betting Taskforce, said: “Graham Ashton’s vast knowledge of and passion for horse racing, his leadership of sports integrity and his status as a well-regarded senior police officer will be of huge benefit to the Taskforce and the ARF.
“INTERPOL’s Match-Fixing Task Force is one of the world’s leading bodies dedicated to combatting sports corruption and the ARF Taskforce is delighted to engage with it and its project manager, Claudio Marinelli, who likewise has huge experience in the field of sports integrity.”
Background on the Asian Racing Federation and its Anti-Illegal Betting Taskforce:
The Asian Racing Federation is a regional federation comprising 28 racing authorities and racing-related organisations, with a wide geographic spread from New Zealand to South Africa. Among its core objectives is the promotion of integrity in the sport of horse racing. In2017, the ARF established the Anti-Illegal Betting Taskforce, which now comprises 14members from organisations engaged in racing and sports integrity, law enforcement, intergovernmental agencies, and academia (a full list of members and their organisations isbelow).
The purpose of the Taskforce is to research the scale and negative impacts of illegal betting and associated financial crime risk, particularly as it relates to racing integrity, and to collaborate with international stakeholders to raise awareness of and combat these negative impacts. To this end, the Taskforce has produced an internationally syndicated white paper on the scale of illegal betting in Asia and will in 2020 publish a Handbook “Good Practices in Addressing Illegal Betting” with practical advice to racing and sports organisations to mitigate threats to integrity caused by illegal betting.
The Taskforce believes that close international cooperation and information sharing are key factors to combat illegal betting given the international dimension of sport. It has been expanding its scope to foster and enhance international cooperation among horse racing operators, regulators, intergovernmental organisations and government agencies in order to better combat not only the threat of illegal betting but also other financial crime risks to horseracing integrity in particular, and sport in general.
Further reading: Illegal Betting in an Asian Context
List of Taskforce members and contact emails for further information available in the PDF version.