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It is not uncommon to see a defence that the athletes were ‘vulnerable’ in the sense that they were easily influenced to get involved in match fixing for financial reasons. As a result, elements of duress have regularly been put forward by various sportsmen. Cricketer Salman Butt’s punishment – described in the court judgment as the ‘orchestrator’ of the match fixing activity – had 5 years of his 10 year ban suspended due to the mitigating circumstances of his family’s dependency on his income.
Mohammad Amir’s defence, and only 18 years old at the time he was involved in match fixing, was that he only became involved as a result of pressure and evidence was also submitted that threats were made to his family. It was also emphasised that he came from a background ‘where life is hard’ and he was given six months in a young offenders’ institution.
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