The match-fixing 'tsunami' in tennis - explained in 7 bullet points


Responding to the report, ESSA said: "ESSA welcomes the publication of the Review Panel's interim report and the extensive recommendations contained within it".

There was also "some evidence of some issues" at higher levels of the game, such as at Grand Slam contests, but the IRP did not believe this to be a "widespread problem" in elite tennis.

Only those playing principally at tour level make a decent living.

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

"The player incentive structure creates a fertile breeding ground for breaches of integrity, with only the top 250 to 350 players earning enough money to break even".

The review, reported to have cost £20m, was commissioned in January 2016 by tennis's four main governing bodies, the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), Women's Tennis Association (WTA), International Tennis Federation (ITF) and Grand Slam Board following a BBC and BuzzFeed investigation revealing suspected match-fixing over the previous decade.

Yet the report, which was led by Adrian Lewis QC and surveyed over 3,200 players, concluded that the problem at the middle and lower levels of the sport was "very significant".

"However, we also recognise that there are vulnerabilities, particularly at the lower levels of tennis". "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".

The panel said the advent of online betting and the sale of official live scoring date have greatly exacerbated the problem and recommends that the ITF ends its data sale agreement at $15,000 Futures events, and probably at other ones as well.

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One betting operator said "the situation in tennis is grimmer than grim".

The report dates numerous problems to the 2011 agreement between the ITF and data company Sportradar for the sale of live scoring data.

A two-year corruption investigation has claimed tennis has been responsible for more suspicious betting than any other sport.

He said there were "shortcomings in the sport's efforts to address the long-standing, underlying causes of breaches".

The review panel of three prominent lawyers found that there was a "tsunami" of fixed matches at the lower levels of the game, but also that there was no conspiracy or collusion among the sport's governing bodies to cover it up.

In addition, governing bodies should move to restructure the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU), which was found to be severely under-funded, and operating without any betting expert.

The panel made several recommendations to tackle corruption because it believes the current system used by the TIU (Tennis Integrity Unit) and global governing bodies is "inadequate to deal with the nature and extent of the problem now faced".

"If they stopped gambling at this level, I am pretty sure the gamblers would find a black market to gamble on which would be much harder to control", a source involved in tennis betting told insidethegames.