Moscow: President Vladimir Putin is to introduce a bill into Russia's parliament that would foresee jail terms up to seven years for match-fixing ahead of its hosting of the Olympics and the World Cup, a report said on Friday.
The bill is a sign of how seriously the Russian authorities take corruption in sport as the world's attention turns more closely to its domestic football and other sports ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics and 2018 World Cup.
The Vedomosti daily said that the law would formally establish a criminal offence for seeking to influence the result of a game by bribing participants or receiving a bribe to do so.
The maximum punishment for fixing the result of the match would be four-seven years with fines ranging from 300,000 roubles ($9,500, 7,400 euros) to one million rubles ($32,000).
Sportsmen and women will only be able to place bets on sports with which they have no connection, according to the law. Meanwhile bookmakers will only be able to pay out winnings on presentation of a passport.
There has never been a confirmed case of match-fixing in Russian football but commentators say this is more a sign of the problem never being properly scrutinised rather than not existing.
Bizarre scorelines and sudden collapses by teams, especially in the lower divisions of Russian football, have often raised suspicion among fans and media.