Tennis steps up fight against illegal gambling

After what seemed betting scandal after betting scandal, the governing bodies of Tennis have joined together to launch a review of their anti-corruption policies.

The International Tennis Federation, the ATP, the WTA and the organisers of all the Grand Slams have joined forces to eradicate the threat posed by illegal gambling in the sport.

Former Metropolitan police officers have been drafted in to lead the study. Jeffrey Rees runs an anti-corruption unit for the International Cricket Council whilst Ben Gunn led a taskgroup to investigate the integrity of the British horse racing industry.

"Today's announcement represents another important step by our sport's leaders to ensure that we do everything in our power to combat the very real threat of gambling," said Larry Scott, chief executive of the women's WTA Tour.

"Each of tennis' governing bodies has already taken proactive measures to keep our sport clean, but this independent review will help us ensure we are protecting the integrity of professional tennis into the future."

That view was echoed by Etienne de Villiers, chief executive of the ATP.

“We remain fully committed to meeting the global challenge posed by gambling face on. By harnessing the scale and resources of the entire sport to create a Tennis Integrity Unit we will be taking a bold and significant step in ensuring the future integrity of our sport. We are delighted that in Jeff Rees and Ben Gunn we have retained two of the world's leading sports integrity experts to help us realise that objective,” said de Villiers.

The highest profile gambling case, which is still being investigated, is a match that involved world number four Nikolay Davydenko. Irregular and suspiscious betting patterns on the betting exchange website Betfair prompted an enquiry by authorities.   

Since then, three Italian players, Potito Starace, Alessio Di Mauro and Daniele Bracciali have all received bans for betting on other players’ matches.

British number one Andy Murray revealed last year that he believed some matches were being fixed and that other players knew it was happening.

Editor, - 2008-01-09 12:04:08

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