A DRAMATIC day for tennis saw the BBC emerge with controversial revelations following an investigation with Buzzfeed over wide-spread match-fixing in world tennis, while world number 1 Novak Djokovic said he had once been offered $200,000 (£140,000) to throw a match.
The BBC says it has a “cache of documents” that demonstrate “widespread suspected match-fixing at the top level of world tennis, including at Wimbledon. Over the last decade, 16 players who have ranked in the top 50 have been repeatedly flagged to the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) over suspicions they have thrown matches.”
The chief of the ATP world tennis body Chris Kermode has rejected the idea that evidence of match-fixing had “been suppressed for any reason or isn’t being thoroughly investigated.”
An investigation was set up by the ATP in 2007 to analyse suspicious betting activity during a game involving Nokiloay Davydenko and Martin Arguello. The players were cleared but inquiry continued into a network of gamblers with access to high-level players.
Now the BBC has referred to documents obtained that show a 2008 report cataloguing a series of betting syndicates in north Italy, Sicily and Russia that made significant sums on matches believed to be fixed, with three of them taking place at Wimbledon.
A group of ten players were thought to be at the core of the action, with several of them currently in competition. The BBC and Buzzfeed have elected not to unveil any names without having access to further information personally implicating the players.