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Tennis match fixing allegations

In response to match fixing allegations aired on BBC News and BuzzFeed online, the four governing bodies of tennis (ATP, WTA, Grand Slam Board, ITF) stood by what they called a zero-tolerance approach to all aspects of corruption, for the integrity of the sport.

The news website BuzzFeed News says that it devised an algorithm to analyse gambling on professional tennis matches over the past seven years. It identified 15 players who regularly lost matches in which heavily lopsided betting appeared to substantially shift the odds – a red flag for possible match-fixing, it argues.

Chris Kermode, Executive Chairman of the ATP and Tennis Integrity Board member, said: “Tennis remains fully committed to meeting the challenge that all sports face from corrupt betting practices. We have stringent procedures and sanctions in place to deal with any suspected corruption and have shown we will act decisively when our integrity rules are broken. No player or official is immune from investigation, regardless of their status or position in the sport. Investigations follow where evidence leads” Mr Kermode said.

“All professional players, support staff and officials are subject to the terms of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP) which equips the TIU with substantial investigative powers. These include the right to interview any relevant person of interest and obtain their telephone, computer and bank records. No player or official is ever cleared by the TIU of potential involvement in corruption. By its very nature, corruption is difficult to prove, so while the process can often be lengthy, the TIU will continue to pursue evidence where it believes it is warranted.”

In September 2008 those four tennis associations set up its own dedicated anti-corruption unit, the Tennis Investigation Unit (TIU). Since 2010, TIU-instigated anti-corruption investigations have resulted in 18 successful disciplinary cases being brought forward. These prosecutions include five players and one official who have been banned from the sport for life. Each of the 18 cases was a result of TIU-instigated investigations, rather than law enforcement or judicial prosecutions, or sting or entrapment operations.

For the BuzzFeed report, ‘The tennis racket’, visit http://www.buzzfeed.com/heidiblake/the-tennis-racket#.daLqrkjK99.


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