Washington, Sep 10 (IANS/RIA Novosti): Russia is planning to bring in a bill that would toughen match-fixing laws in football.
Head of the Russian Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov, who is also the vice speaker in the country's lower house of parliament, said Sunday that the bill will be introduced by this fall.
Russian football is persistently dogged by claims of match fixing, including in the Premier League, although few of the accusations are ever upheld by the authorities.
The head of the Russian Football Union's committee on match fixing, Anzor Kavazashvili, vowed earlier this year to eradicate the problem by naming and shaming culprits and increasing fines.
But Zhukov said Russia needs to follow the lead of countries that make it a criminal offense to be any part of it.
"In lots of countries there are precedents whereby the punishment for these kinds of things is not only disqualification, but treated as a crime," said Zhukov, who was here meeting other parliamentary representatives from G8 countries.
"The bill in which sanctions are toughened is already prepared," Zhukov said, explaining that "the absence of hard sanctions does not allow us to investigate these (match-fixing) incidents to the end".
Zhukov said the bill would be formally submitted for approval to the Russian State Duma in the fall session.