The darts world has been rocked by a new match-fixing scandal. Andy Jenkins and Prakash Jiwa are suspected by the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) of match-fixing during their participation in the MODUS Super Series. Jack Main has also been put on notice and has been provisionally suspended.
The MODUS Super Series is a weekly competition involving 12 players each time. The event is a lucrative alternative for players who do not have a PDC Tour Card. Selected participants receive £250 per day for their participation and this, with bonuses, can eventually add up to the top prize of £20,000 for the winner of the season.
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The fee for players is paid for from sponsorship contracts that the MODUS Super Series has signed with betting agencies. Because of the partnership with betting agencies, there are strict rules for participating players. They must participate in a small course on online gambling and must turn in their phones in the morning prior to the start of the day.
However, this action did not prevent the trio from possibly violating gambling rules, according to a statement from the Darts Regulation Authority (DRA).
"The Darts Regulation Authority Chairman, Nigel Mawer has taken the decision to suspend Prakash Jiwa and Andy Jenkins from attending or competing in DRA sanctioned events whilst an investigation is conducted into suspicious betting on matches played in the MODUS Super Series. The players have the right to appeal this decision.
Especially for Jiwa, this decision has far-reaching implications. The Indian dart player qualified for the World Darts Championship via the qualifying tournament for darters from India. It is still unclear whether Jiwa will be able to participate. Jenkins is not competing in the World Darts Championship but is a well known player. He competed seven times at Lakeside and qualified for the PDC World Darts Championship 10 times. In 2007, Jenkins even made it to the semifinals, in which he lost to eventual world champion Raymond van Barneveld. In 2019, Jenkins also had to report to the disciplinary committee. Then he was fined 1,000 pounds for homophobic statements.
The DRA also came out with a statement about Jack Main. ''On 9th June 2023, the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) reported suspicious betting on the match between Jack Main and Lisa Ashton in the MODUS Super Series."
"After an investigation, the DRA chairman Nigel Mawer decided that Jack Main has a case to answer for breaches of the DRA betting rules. As a result of this decision, Main has been suspended from attending or competing in DRA sanctioned events until the conclusion of the hearing or hearings and the determination of the matter. Main has the right to appeal this suspension decision."
"The matter will be referred to the DRA Disciplinary Committee where a formal hearing will take place at a date to be confirmed. There is no suggestion that Lisa Ashton was involved in any way."
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Previous match-fixing scandals in the sport of darts
This is not the first time players have been caught match-fixing in the sport of darts. Wessel Nijman and Kyle McKinstry were guilty of match-fixing at an online tournament in 2020.
Nijman was then given a five-year suspension by the Darts Regulation Authority (DRA). Ultimately, Nijman only had to serve half of his sentence after advocating for the PDPA to warn other players of dangers from the gambling world.
Nijman's sentence came to an end early this year, allowing him to participate in PDC tournaments again. The Dutchman performed well on the Development Tour, even qualifying for the upcoming World Darts Championship.
McKinstry did not get off as well. The disciplinary committee sentenced the Northern Irishman to an eight-year suspension. His sentence was higher because McKinstry had violated betting rules in several matches and because McKinstry initially refused to cooperate with the investigation.
The PDC World Darts Championship also infamously saw this happen. Filipino dart player Gilbert Ulang had sold his match during the 2017 World Darts Championship in order to make money from gambling.
This was his preliminary round match against Englishman Kevin Simm, who prevailed 2-0 in sets. Ulang was sentenced to a seven-year suspension and had to pay a fine of 2,500 pounds.