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Kiwis bowled over by match-fixing claim -

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ELIZABETH JACKSON: To New Zealand now and there are allegations of match-fixing and corruption in
sport. But it's not Kiwi cricket players in trouble; it's some of the country's best known lawn
bowlers.

The New Zealand men's four is accused of deliberately losing at last month's Asia-Pacific
Championships.

The bowlers have hit back saying the whole sport of lawn bowls is corrupt and management in New
Zealand is only concerned about making money.

Our New Zealand correspondent Kerri Ritchie reports.

BOWLS COMMENTATOR: Gary Lawson with his second pink bowl. (Applause) Good start to New Zealand.
They pick up a three on the first...

KERRI RITCHIE: Forget pristine white uniforms. New Zealand's best lawn bowlers wear black and
they're fiercely competitive.

Kerry Clark is the chief executive of Bowls New Zealand.

KERRY CLARK: We're pretty proud of our reputation both on and off the bowling green. That is a fair
statement, yep.

KERRI RITCHIE: But New Zealand's best four male lawn bowlers are today fighting to save their
reputations. They're accused of match fixing and across the Tasman it's all over the TV news.

EXTRACT FROM TVNZ NEWS RPOERT: Has New Zealand's proud bowls history been tainted forever?

KERRI RITCHIE: World Bowls had lodged a complaint that the four Kiwis deliberately under-performed
in a match against Thailand at the Asia-Pacific Championships in Malaysia last month.

New Zealand's loss meant Canada didn't make the playoffs.

Kerry Clark says Bowls New Zealand is taking the match fixing allegations very seriously.

KERRY CLARK: In the scheme of things it would be regarded as an upset.

KERRI RITCHIE: But one of the players accused of match fixing, Gary Lawson, is livid. In an
interview with Television New Zealand this morning he lashed out at the bosses of lawn bowls and
said this investigation is a witch hunt.

GARY LAWSON: The New Zealand coach, he's the guy that's actually created this drama, eh?

INTERVIEWER: Dave Edwards?

GARY LAWSON: Yeah, I mean you know, to be fair he should be charged with impersonating being a
coach. I mean we won the world championships. We're the number one country in the world. And they
get $1.3 million and the players get $10,000 of that. I don't care if I don't play again eh.

KERRI RITCHIE: Kerry Clark is worried the allegations will leave a black mark against New Zealand's
bowling name.

KERRY CLARK: We haven't as a national body had to investigate anything like this before.

KERRI RITCHIE: Were you shocked when you heard about this Mr Clark?

KERRY CLARK: Yes, certainly was. We are taking it seriously and we're dealing with it in terms of
our constitution which does have a misconduct provision in there where misconduct is defined as
including deliberately losing or attempting to lose a game of bowls or playing unfairly.

KERRI RITCHIE: Match fixing has destroyed the careers of cricketers but Kerry Clark says it's far
too early to say whether it could do the same in lawn bowls.

A judicial hearing is expected to be held in the next fortnight.

This is Kerri Ritchie in Auckland reporting for The World Today.