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Firm that helped expose Alabama baseball gambling scandal launches hotline


A sports integrity monitor has launched a tool to help athletes, coaches and staff anonymously report suspicions about gambling activity to regulators and law enforcement. The tip hotline was announced by U.S. Integrity, a sports data integrity company that played a role in an ongoing investigation into possible wrongdoing involving the University of Alabama baseball team. Earlier this month, Matthew Holt, the president of U.S. Integrity, said the operators of a sportsbook alerted his company to "abnormal activity." U.S. Integrity alerted state gambling regulators, and Ohio opened an investigation. Alabama fired its baseball coach last week amid an investigation into suspicious bets involving a Crimson Tide game at LSU.

The tip hotline unveiled by the two companies allows athletes, coaches and others to anonymously report integrity-related concerns such as the misuse of insider information, match-fixing, game manipulation or illegal wagering.

The tips would go to regulators who could then verify them and bring the matter to law enforcement, the companies said in a statement.

"Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of the professional and student athletes who have committed their lives to compete at the highest levels, and it is our job to help protect that paradigm," Holt said. The hotline enables concerned athletes and others "to stay one step ahead of any bad actors.

Texting 843-USI-TIPS "protects and enhances the integrity and purity of competition, while ensuring their anonymity and safety," said David Chadwick, founder and CEO of RealResponse.

The hotline comes as more than 40 athletes from Iowa and Iowa State could be facing discipline from both law enforcement and the NCAA for impermissible online wagering.

Earlier this week, Iowa and Iowa State acknowledged they are cooperating with both local gaming regulators, law enforcement and the NCAA after an investigation of gambling activities revealed potential involvement by athletes in multiple sports.

In the Alabama case, no athletes are suspected to be involved. In the Iowa case, some Hawkeyes baseball players have already been sidelined from competition, which is routine when a school believes the eligibility of an athlete may have been compromised.

The Iowa director of gaming told The Associated Press earlier this week that no evidence indicates match fixing or suspicious wagering activity in games involving the Hawkeyes or Cyclones.

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.
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