Lower-level tennis rocked by match-fixing revelations

A broken tennis racket

There is a"tsunami of corruption at the lower levels Credit REUTERS

Tennis is facing a "tsunami" of integrity problems, according to a two-year investigation into corruption within the sport.

The panel was set up in January 2016 following allegations made by the BBC and Buzzfeed that leading players, including Grand Slam winners, were involved in suspected match-fixing and that evidence had been suppressed.

The report showed no evidence of top-level players being implicated in corruption.

An indenpendent report uncovers widespread match-fixing at lower-level tennis events.

However, the highest level competitions and governing bodies did not escape criticism.

Internal inquiries into corruption in tennis were dubbed inadequate and the ATP has been criticised for "failing to exhaust potential leads before ending investigations".

The governing bodies thank the IRP for their hard and important work.Statement issued on behalf of: Steve Simon, Chief Executive Officer of the WTA and Chairman of the Tennis Integrity Board Chris Kermode, Executive Chairman and President of the ATP David Haggerty, President of the ITF Jayne Hrdlicka, Chairman, Australian Open Bernard Giudicelli, Chairman, Roland Garros Philip Brook, Chairman, Wimbledon Katrina Adams, Chairman, US Open Click the PDF links below to view:Independent Review of Integrity In Tennis Interim ReportIndependent Review of Integrity In Tennis Record Of Evidence And Analysis.

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The level of suspicious betting alerts rose sharply after the sale of official live scoring data to betting companies in 2012, making tens of thousands of matches available to gamble on. But the report says there is no widespread problem at ATP, WTA and Grand Slam tournaments.

"We confirm our agreement in principle with the package of measures and recommendations proposed by the IRP", the joint-statement said.

However, they accepted the need for firm and decisive action to address the concerns raised about the lower level tours.

The report received 3,200 survey responses from players at all levels around the world, of which 464 said they had first-hand knowledge of match-fixing.

It added that there are no simple solutions but called on the sport "to address and limit the betting markets that ultimately drive, and give expression to, the problem; and to improve the systems of preventing and disrupting breaches of integrity, and for detecting and sanctioning them when they occur".

"Players may be particularly tempted in relation to matches that they meant to "tank" for unrelated reasons - a factor that has been aptly described as the "seeds of corruption" - or in matches that they believe they can win even while contriving to lose games, sets, or points along the way".

"This could be a person who pays for flights and hotels, which is the thin end of the wedge, but the wedge can grow into something larger down the line".

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