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Betting Raises Concerns at Olympics

17 September 2000

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – Sept 17, 2000 –As reported by The Associated Press : "The Australian Olympic Committee called Monday for betting on the games to be reduced as bookmakers took in thousands of dollars on the country's swimming superstar.

"The International Olympic Committee has said it plans to adopt strict anti-betting rules for athletes at future games, but at the moment they are free to wager on themselves or their opponents.

"Betting on sports is a legal national passion in Australia.

"AOC assistant mission chief Michael Wenden said betting restrictions should not only apply to athletes.

"`The problem is, without any reflection at all on our current competitors, there is the possibility that in some point of time that some very big money might ... or the people behind it might try to influence a result,' Wenden said.

"Wenden made his comments as large sums of money were being wagered on teen-age swimming sensation Ian Thorpe, who was due to race Monday night in the final of the 200-meter freestyle

"…Ahead of the games, the AOC sent a letter to all Australian competitors urging them not to bet in any way on the Olympics.

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