SYDNEY: Australia yesterday unveiled a new national integrity body to tackle cheating and corruption in sport in the wake of a ball-tampering “sandpapergate” scandal that rocked cricket.

The new watchdog, Sport Integrity Australia, will combine the powers of three existing agencies, including the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), to better investigate doping, match-fixing, illegal betting, organised crime and corruption.

“We have seen the massive fall-out from the cricket ball-tampering scandal and the loss of belief in our national cricket team and we are determined to prevent incidents like this from happening,” Sports Minister Bridget McKenzie said in a statement.

“Australian sports lovers deserve to know that the sport they watch and the teams they support are competing on a level playing field and playing fairly,” she said.

The current agencies are set to receive a boost in funding before Sport Integrity Australia formally launches in two years.

Canberra said it was also setting up a national sports tribunal, to be trialled over two years, to hear anti-doping rule violations and other sports disputes.- AFP