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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Tennis match-fixing report highlights issues at lowest levels of sport

More than 3,000 players surveyed in independent review

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A long-awaited report into match fixing and betting on tennis has thrown up headline soundbites such as "tsunami of corruption" and "serious integrity problem" but no evidence of top-level players being implicated or of a widespread problem in the elite game.

The Independent Review of Integrity in Tennis has produced the in-depth interim report, which gathered survey responses from more than 3,200 players at all levels, 464 of whom said they had first-hand knowledge of match-fixing.

The focus has been on the lower levels of the sport such as the Futures Tour, where many players can barely scrape a living.

One course of action suggested is that the International Tennis Federation (ITF) should stop selling live match score data to bookmakers. The report found that the number of matches bet on increased significantly after a deal on supplying the data was reached in 2012.

Without a live data feed firms are unlikely to be able to offer markets on those tournaments, which account for only a small part of overall tennis betting anyway.

A betting ban at the lowest levels of the game was also suggested, while other recommendations were an end to betting sponsorship, a re-structuring of the sport at lower levels, the funding of a new watchdog group within the Tennis Integrity Unit, and better "integrity training" for players.

The ITF, ATP and WTA have said they will act on the final report when it is published in the autumn.


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One course of action suggested is that the International Tennis Federation should stop selling live match score data to bookmakers
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