Tennis allegations 'potentially serious' for betting - ESSA

Tennis allegations 'potentially serious' for betting - ESSA

Monday, January 18, 2016 Totally Gaming
Grand slam champions are among those suspected of fixing matches over the past decade

Allegations of match-fixing among top tennis players and at grand slam events are “potentially serious for the betting industry,” according to the ESSA sports integrity unit.

A new report by the UK’s BBC news broadcaster and the BuzzFeed news platform said that as many as 16 top-50 tennis players – including grand slam champions and eight in the main draw for the Australian Open - have been repeatedly suspected of fixing matches over the past decade.

BuzzFeed said that players were targeted at major tournaments – with three of the games at the Wimbledon grand slam event - and offered at least $50,000 (€46,000) to fix matches for betting syndicates, with incidents linked to organised crime in Russia and Italy.

None of the “core group” of suspects faced sanctions, according to the report, which was based on files leaked by a group of anonymous whistle-blowers.

In reports covering the first nine months of 2015, ESSA found that 49 of 65 cases – 75 per cent - of suspicious betting alerts related to tennis. ESSA today said in a statement released to that it wants to support the tennis authorities in the implementation of good governance and integrity regimes

“The issue of sports betting integrity is an important one and ESSA and its partner sports are committed to ensuring that sports participants and betting customers have confidence in the sport they enjoy,” ESSA chairman Mike O'Kane said. “We will continue to liase closely with the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) and all other sports governing bodies who have any concerns with integrity.

“In addition, the recently launched UK Sports Betting Integrity Action Plan, which is fully supported by ESSA and its betting operator members, provides a guide to reducing the risk of sports betting integrity issues."

Chris Kermode, the head of the men’s ATP World Tour body, added: “The TIU and the tennis authorities absolutely reject any suggestion that evidence of match-fixing has been suppressed for any reason or isn't being thoroughly investigated.

“There is a zero-tolerance policy on this. We are not complacent. We are very vigilant on this.”

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