A report commissioned by the biggest governing bodies in tennis (such as the WTA, ATP, ITF and Grand Slam Board) has found that there are significant levels of corruption in the sport. The report suggested that the problem is not as prevalent in the highest level of the game as in the lower levels. One of the three review panel members trusted with composing the report went as far as to describe lower levels of the game as being afflicted by a “tsunami” of issues.
The most respected governing bodies commissioned the review after a controversial 2016 report by Buzzfeed and BBC News was released before the Australian Open. In the report, it was suggested that there was evidence of at least 16 players in the top 50 ranked players engaging in match-fixing.
It was stated that some players had been offered in excess of $50 000 to throw games by corrupt betting rackets. Dishonest gambling organisations in Russia and Italy were found to have made incredible amounts of money by placing bets on fixed matches. Some of such matches had been played at the world’s most notable tennis tournaments, such as Wimbledon and the French Open.
Although only an interim version of the report has been released (the full version is set to be released at the end of the year), some recommendations have already been made.
One recommendation suggested that competitions stop accepting betting sponsorships and that the International Tennis Federation end its data deal with Sportsradar, famed sports betting services provider.
It will be interesting to see how tennis competitions will implement suggested changes. It must be stated that many famed international competitions already ended many sponsorships deals with sports betting organisation after the 2016 allegations of prominent match-fixing in the sport.
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