Olympic Gold Medalist Nikola Karabatic Accused of Match Fixing

By Alan Dymock
John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE

According to sources in France, Olympic champion handballer Nikola Karabatic had been detained on Sunday alongside his brother Luka and eight other players in Montpellier. These men and nine others have been brought in amidst allegations of match fixing.

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Karabatic is implicated in a scheme where $113,000 was bet on a first division game between Montpellier and Cesson-Sevigne last year. According to the prosecutor, this size of bet is highly irregular.

The suspects will face a judge today. They face indictment over “sporting corruption” and fraud. If they are adjudged to be guilty, then a prison sentence of up to five years and a $96,800 fine could be handed down.

The president of the French Handball Federation, Joel Delplanque, did tell press that he hoped investigations would conclude “in [the] most serious and quick manner possible so that once and for all we will find out what happened — and who in fact was responsible for these anomalies we’ve now learned about.”

Betting anomalies have indeed become a hot topic. The spot-fixing scandal involving Pakistani cricketers who were detained in Britain, several dalliances in Turkish soccer and the Juventus soccer team still being embroiled in controversy following their recent Italian Serie A triumph (coach Antonio Conte is banned for nine months after FIFA ruled he did not act to prevent any irregular match practices. This was not a betting affair, but it did mean results were affected) have all made an international splash.

The man who guided France to a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics will find out his fate soon, but his defense claims that there is “no criminal case” to answer.

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