NEW DELHI - The Indian government on Saturday announced a new law to crack down on unfair practices in sport amid damaging allegations of spot-fixing in the Indian Premier League competition.
"The government of India has decided to enact a standalone legislation to deal with unfair practices in sport. The government is committed to bring this law as soon as possible," Law Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters in New Delhi.
Sibal said the new legislation would deal with dishonest practices like spot-fixing, which has been under the spotlight since three cricketers were arrested on May 16 for deliberately bowling badly in exchange for money.
"We cannot let down millions of fans out there for whom cricket is a passion. But the new law will not apply to cricket alone. It will apply to all sports in which unfair practices are being used to change the outcome or course of a game," Sibal said.
Sibal did not specify what punishments would be handed out but said the legislation would define what constitutes criminal acts in sport.
"The law will be as broad as possible to deal with corporates, bookies and players," said the minister.
Spot-fixing is an illegal activity where a specific part of a game, but not the outcome, is fixed.
India Test paceman Shanthakumaran Sreesanth was among the players arrested by police in a widening probe into corruption in the Twenty20 competition.
Sreesanth, who has played 27 Tests and 53 one-dayers for India, is alleged to have been paid four million rupees ($72,000) to give away around 14 runs in an over while playing against the Kings XI Punjab on May 9.
His teammates are said to have agreed to similar deals in two other IPL matches.
The draft legislation will be vetted by India's sports ministry before being introduced in parliament.