Integrity Unit

Extending support to Zimbabwe Cricket

Integrity Unit

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Recently, high-profile Zimbabwean cricketer Brendan Taylor and coach Heath Streak were sanctioned by the ICC, receiving bans of three and a half years and eight years, respectively. Streak was charged for breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code, while Taylor was found guilty of breaching both the ICC Anti-Corruption and the ICC Anti-Doping Code. In recognising potential problems at the highest level of the game, Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) sought support from the ICC Integrity Unit to protect their players and stakeholders from further vulnerabilities.

Representatives from the Integrity Unit were assigned to the task with the primary focus being to increase awareness through education, provide support in building effective domestic anti-doping and anti-corruption programs and build capacity in Zimbabwe Cricket in both the anti-corruption and anti-doping areas for the future. In Zimbabwe, education was delivered to a wide range of audiences, including board members, officials, national players (men and women) as well as domestic, academy and U19 level players. The audiences engaged in lively discussions enabling further learning and exploration of advanced topics. The delivery and content of the education sessions were tailored to the relevance, capacity, and experience of the audience, enhancing the effectiveness of key messages, which included roles, responsibilities, and consequences under the Codes; risks of corruption and doping in cricket; reporting mechanisms and access to further integrity information and support.

In addition to education, meetings were held with law enforcement which included over twenty officers from intelligence, investigations, and surveillance departments to understand corruption, vulnerabilities in sport and its impact on Zimbabwe Cricket. Positive discussions were had over introducing the Sports Integrity Act as a deterrence and disruption mechanism to criminally prosecute those found guilty of corrupt activities in Zimbabwe. 

Meetings with Zimbabwe Olympic Committee (ZOC) in the absence of a National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO) also proved very valuable in understanding the support available to Zimbabwe Cricket in relation to drug testing, Code compliance and the delivery of anti-doping education across its ten provinces. Additionally, it was identified that Zimbabwe Cricket, through engagement with the AFRICA VI Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO), could gain access to Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) and Results Management services, which are crucial in running a domestic testing programme. The visit also enabled the ICC Integrity Unit to appreciate the unique constraints and challenges in Zimbabwe and to offer practical guidance and solutions in developing effective integrity programs.

Finally, the unanimous support from ZC leadership, ZOC, Zimbabwe law enforcement and the 200-plus participants in the education sessions was reflective of Zimbabwe Cricket’s seriousness in tackling corruption and doping at all levels of cricket in the country. This is a long-term project; however, with relationships established, action points agreed on, and continued support from the ICC, Zimbabwe Cricket is all set to play its part in protecting the integrity of cricket.

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