Tennis Australia appoints new integrity chief


Tennis Australia has responded to increasing concern for the integrity of the sport by naming Ann West as the governing body's first-ever head of integrity and compliance.

The appointment, which is an executive position and the first of its kind in Australian tennis, comes after January's Australian Open - the grand slam managed by Tennis Australia - was overshadowed by a joint investigation from the BBC and BuzzFeed News into alleged match-fixing involving a number of players on the professional circuit.

The report claimed that Russian and Italian gambling syndicates made vast profits by placing highly suspicious bets on scores of matches, including a number at Wimbledon and the French Open.

It also alleged that a US Open champion and doubles winners at Wimbledon were among a group of 16 players who had repeatedly been reported for losing games when suspect bets have been placed against them.

The sport has since been rocked by the revelation that Maria Sharapova failed a drug test at the Australian Open for the use of banned substance meldonium, for which she has been provisionally banned

"There has been much criticism of sporting organisations across the globe recently for a lack of transparency in matters of corruption, anti-doping and member protection," West, who previously worked as Tennis Australia's risk and compliance manager, explained in a statement.

"The importance of taking an integrated and coordinated approach, and my plan is to have an emphasis on education, is critical to tackling this issue and will be the focus of my new role."

Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley added: "Ann has already done an outstanding job within Tennis Australia, from setting up a world-first tennis anti-corruption policy, to developing and managing comprehensive member protection policies for the tennis family in Australia.

"Ann will now head up a new team with an uncompromising focus around integrity and compliance as the reputation of our sport is being challenged in a difficult environment."