Written by Ranee Mohamed
18 Jan, 2016 | 6:51 am
Secret files exposing evidence of widespread suspected match fixing at the top level of world tennis, including at Wimbledon, can be revealed by the BBC and BuzzFeed News.
Over the last decade 16 players who have ranked in the top 50 have been repeatedly flagged to the tennis integrity unit over suspicions they have thrown matches.
All of the players, including winners of Grand Slam titles, were allowed to continue competing.
The Tennis Integrity Unit – set up to police the sport – said it had a zero-tolerance approach to betting-related corruption.
The cache of documents passed to the BBC and Buzzfeed News include the findings of an investigation set up in 2007 by the organising body, the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).
Its job was to look into suspicious betting activity after a game involving Nikolay Davydenko and Martin Vassallo Arguello. The two players were cleared of violating any rules but the investigation developed into a much wider enquiry looking into a web of gamblers linked to top-level players.
The documents we have obtained show the enquiry found betting syndicates in Russia, northern Italy and Sicily making hundreds of thousands of pounds betting on games investigators thought to be fixed. Three of these games were at Wimbledon.
In a confidential report for the tennis authorities in 2008, the enquiry team said 28 players involved in these games should be investigated but the findings were never followed up. Tennis introduced a new anti-corruption code in 2009 but after taking legal advice were told previous corruption offences could not be pursued.
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