Belgian police to investigate possible basketball fraud case

BRUSSELS (AP) — The Belgian basketball federation has asked the country’s federal police to investigate a possible fraud case related to the organization of 3×3 tournaments in the runup to the Tokyo Olympics.

Following discussions with the local Wallonia and Flanders federations, Basketball Belgium said in a statement on Tuesday that it contacted a police unit specialized in sports fraud to conduct a “thorough investigation.”

The federation said a disciplinary inquiry was being carried out by Basketball Flanders in addition to a criminal complaint.

De Standaard newspaper reported last month that fake 3×3 basketball tournaments were set up in Belgium from August to October 2019 in a bid to allow the Belgium team to collect the necessary points to be able to take part in qualifying for the Olympic Games.

However, the Belgian federation said it does not have enough information at this stage to suspend players. The 3×3 team made up of Thibaut Vervoort, Rafael Bogaerts, Thierry Marien and Nick Celis finished fourth at the Olympics.

Basketball Belgium said the team will compete “without any change in its composition” at the European 3×3 Championship later this week in Paris.


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