August 7, 2001

No evidence to support Mark Waugh allegations - ACB investigator

No evidence has been found over which Mark Waugh could be charged over bribery allegations made in India last year, according to a special investigator of the Australian Cricket Board.

Greg Melick, who had been conducting the investigation on behalf of the ACB, told a press conference in Melbourne this morning (Tuesday) that he had been "unable to locate any credible evidence" to support claims by Indian bookmaker MK Gupta that he had paid Waugh $US 20,000 in 1993 to provide information about match-related factors in games involving Australia. The allegations were published in the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation's (CBI) "Report on Cricket Match-Fixing and Related Malpractices", which was made public on November 2 last year.

Melick added that his investigation had been unable to locate any evidence inconsistent with Waugh's denials of the allegations. Waugh has denied receiving money from Gupta, and denies ever meeting him.

Melick said that, based on his findings, Waugh had "no case to answer" in relation to the allegations. He cautioned at the opening of the press conference that the question of whether "Mark Waugh has been cleared" represented a "misconception of the investigatory process".

Melick's report, based upon his investigation of Gupta's allegations which commenced last October, was tabled at an ACB board meeting last Friday and has been forwarded to the ICC, ACB chief executive James Sutherland told reporters.

Sutherland said that Mark Waugh, who is currently in England with the Australian touring team, was informed yesterday.

Melick's report was submitted after Gupta failed to co-operate with investigating officers from the ICC and several countries seeking supporting evidence from him.

Similar investigations in England, New Zealand and Sri Lanka of allegations made by Gupta against Alec Stewart, Martin Crowe, Arjuna Ranatunga and Aravinda de Silva have all ended with the Indian bookmaker's claims being dismissed.