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Hong Kong Sports World Hit by Gambling Scandal

16 August 2004

HONG KONG - As reported by VOA News : "While doping scandals rock the Olympic games in Greece, police in Hong Kong Saturday busted an underground network of illegal sports gambling. Officers made almost a dozen arrests and seized over 150 athletes, many of them confined to bamboo cages.

"The rules were simple, the first fighter to retreat lost.

"Most combatants allegedly were pumped full of stimulants and fed an exclusive diet of cooked rice, flies and mosquitoes.

"Police say hundreds of dollars in bets were seized at the Far East Friends of Crickets Social Club, which was proudly hosting a tournament of fighting insects from throughout the region.

"Senior Inspector Angus Yueng led the operation. "Let me put it this way, cricket fighting, no problem, but when people place bets on the game, that is illegal," he said.

"Cricket fights in China have been popular since at least the 11th century Song Dynasty and there are still national tournaments and clubs throughout the country..."

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