Basketball: Australia cleared of 'tanking' Angola match

Australia's guard Chris Goulding (left) vies with Angola's guard Armando Costa during the 2014 FIBA World basketball championships on Sept 4, 2014. Australia have been cleared of throwing a World Cup match against Angola, the International Basketball
Australia's guard Chris Goulding (left) vies with Angola's guard Armando Costa during the 2014 FIBA World basketball championships on Sept 4, 2014. Australia have been cleared of throwing a World Cup match against Angola, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) said Wednesday. -- PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - Australia have been cleared of throwing a World Cup match against Angola, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) said Wednesday.

"We are very happy to announce that our investigation has cleared Australia of violating the Internal Regulations," FIBA secretary-general Patrick Baumann said in a press release.

"As one of our most active national member federations across men's, women's and youth basketball, we know we can count on Basketball Australia to wholeheartedly endorse the principles of fair play and ethical behaviour outlined in FIBA's Code of Conduct and Fair Play."

Two months ago, following the World Cup won by the United States, FIBA launched an investigation into Australia's 91-83 pool stage defeat to Angola over suspicions they wanted to lose to avoid playing overwhelming favourites the US in the next round.

Australia, who did not field two of their top players in Joe Ingles and Aron Baynes for the game, angrily denied the accusations.

They claimed the two players were rested on medical advice.

"The health and wellbeing of our players is paramount. The World Cup group stage schedule of five games in six days is, put simply, gruelling," said Basketball Australia following the accusations.

"It takes a significant toll on athletes - and is precisely the reason why FIBA allows a roster of 12 active players."

As it happened, Australia lost 65-64 to Turkey in the last 16 in Spain, where they might otherwise have faced the US.