A total of 48 possible match-fixing cases have been flagged by the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) in the first quarter of this year, the President of the sport’s worldwide governing body David Haggerty revealed here.
The alerts came from 25,000 tennis matches across the world in the period from January to the end of March.
Full results are due to be published later this month, according to the International Tennis Federation (ITF) head.
Haggerty, the former President of the United States Tennis Association, elected to lead the ITF last September, admitted “one case is too many” but stressed the cases were only a small proportion of the matches analysed.
He also claimed “these don’t necessarily mean anything unusual has happened”.
“All sports have to be wary of the threat of corruption,” Haggerty said during the SportAccord Convention here.
“It is less than two tenths of one per cent – that being said, one is too many and again these 48 alerts are possibilities.”
The development allegations made by Buzzfeed News and BBC News claiming that 16 players have been repeatedly highlighted as having potentially thrown matches, with concerns reported to the TIU.
Each of the players have been ranked in the top 50 in the world across the past decade and, despite several of their matches being deemed suspicious, all have been allowed to continue competing, it was claimed.
Italians Potito Starace and Daniele Bracciali are the only professionals to have been investigated and charged.
The TIU, established to prevent corruption and match-fixing in the sport, were forced to strongly deny suggestions any possible match-fixing cases have been covered up following the reports.
The ITF have also vehemently dismissed the claims, with Haggerty describing the accusations earlier this year as “old news”.
Scrutiny on the sport intensified when the European Sport Security Association released results of a study in February in which they revealed nearly three quarters of alerts raised in 2015 involved tennis.
One-hundred were issued last year, with tennis accounting for 73 of those.
In light of the news, key tennis officials were ordered to appear in front of the UK Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee in February, including Nigel Willerton, the director of integrity of the TIU and Association of Tennis Professionals executive chairman and President Chris Kermode.
- By Liam Morgan at the SwissTech Convention Center in Lausanne
- Republished with permission insidethegames.biz