Tennis has been labelled the dirtiest sport on the planet following a world investigation into corruption.
Bombshell match-fixing allegations rocked the game final 12 months when two gamers have been reported to have been supplied cash to repair matches with one alleged occasion occurring throughout a first-round doubles match at Wimbledon in 2021.
The Worldwide Tennis Integrity Company (ITIA) was fashioned in 2021 to sort out ongoing corruption inside the sport and is claimed to be on excessive alert over latest circumstances.
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It’s led to an even bigger than standard operation to be put in place at Melbourne Park for the 2023 Australian Open with brokers retaining shut watch on a number of “individuals of curiosity”, based on Information Corp Australia.
With tens of millions of eyes from everywhere in the globe tuning in and cameras masking nearly each angle of Melbourne Park, officers don’t suspect any cases to unfold throughout the Australian Open.
Corruption in sport tends to occur away from the highlight and happen throughout decrease degree tournaments.
Regardless of that, investigators inside the partitions of Melbourne Park are reportedly intently monitoring a number of targets.
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“There are gamers who’ve been concerned in match fixing who will come to the grand slams,” ITIA communications boss Adrian Bassett mentioned to the Herald Solar.
“After all, the gamers who’re of curiosity who come to grand slams, that’s half the rationale our investigators are right here.
“However we don’t see proof of mass match fixing at grand slams as a result of that is when everyone seems to be watching and the bookmakers are retaining an in depth eye on it as effectively.”
Whereas corruption and match-fixing is nothing new to the sporting world, the extent of it unfolding in tennis – uncovered by the ITIA – paints a damning image.
Over the ultimate 4 months of 2022 the Worldwide Betting Integrity Affiliation (IBIA) turned conscious of 76 suspicious alerts.
A tick below half of all cases got here from the world of tennis.
Final 12 months alone 4 gamers have been handed lifetime bans from the game with 26 coaches handed bans that totalled a whopping 183 years.
Previous to the Australian Open getting underway two Algerian gamers have been handed bans over a number of match-fixing incidents from 2016.
“Mohamed Hassan has been banned for all times from the game and Houria Boukholda banned for 2 years (with 18 months suspended),” the ITIA reported.
“Along with the bans, Hassan was fined $12,100 and Boukholda fined $10,000 (with $9,000 suspended).
“The circumstances have been dominated on by unbiased Anti-Corruption Listening to Officer Janie Soublière and the sanctions imply that each gamers are prohibited from taking part in in or attending any tennis occasion sanctioned by the governing our bodies of tennis. Neither particular person engaged with the method nor responded to the costs.”