Tennis world has been rocked by the news of widespread match fixing at the very top level of the game including the Grand Slams.
Reports have emerged that around 16 players who have been in top 50 of world tennis have been flagged to the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU). Those players are under suspension of throwing away matches and for that, they received a large sum of money from the bookies. However, all those players have been allowed to continue playing including the winners of Grand Slam titles.
TIU has once again stated that they will not tolerate any sort of corruption in sport. Association of Tennis Professionals have however, rejected the claims made by BBC and BuzzFeed News, who raised the issue of corruption in Tennis. Chris Kermode, the head of Association of Tennis Professionals, said that the events being discussed in the reports about match fixing are decades old and we will only look into things if they are contemporary.
“While the BBC and BuzzFeed reports mainly refer to events from about 10 years ago, we will investigate any new information,” Chris Kermode added.
The report talks about two players in particular, Nikolay Davydenko and Martin Vassallo Arguello, who played out each other in 2007. That particular game was thoroughly investigated but the duo was cleared of any wrong doings on their behalf. However, that investigation resulted in the awareness that match fixing is also present in tennis and this game is not free of this menace.
A report emerged in 2008 asking for up to 28 players to be investigated in match fixing related incidents. In 2009, new anti-corruption code was introduced in tennis but it did not help pursuing previous acts of corruption in the game.
“As a result, no new investigations into any of the players who were mentioned in the 2008 report were opened,” a TIU spokesman said.
Since then, alerts about possible match fixings have been sent to TIU reportedly but none of the players were suspended or disciplined by TIU. BBC and BuzzFeed News recently received documents from anonymous sources about the wide spread corruption in the beautiful game of Tennis.
One of the betting investigators in the 2007 enquiry, Mark Phillips, told BBC that a group in particular was involved in repeated suspicious betting activities.
“There was a core of about 10 players who we believed were the most common perpetrators that were at the root of the problem,” he said.
He added that the evidence BBC and BuzzFeed News have at the moment are very strong and it is a massive chance for TIU to act and get this menace out of Tennis once and for all.
“The evidence was really strong,” he added. “There appeared to be a really good chance to nip it in the bud and get a strong deterrent out there to root out the main bad apples.”
He further added that a number of players named in the evidence are on the radar of the Tennis authorities for a long time.