TIU acts on all match-fixing allegations - ATP


ATP executive chairman and president Chris Kermode insists the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) acts on all information received as he rejected match-fixing reports.

A joint investigation undertaken by BuzzFeed News and the BBC has alleged tennis authorities failed to act upon repeated warnings regarding claims of match-fixing involving a number of players on the professional circuit.

It said a US Open champion and doubles winners at Wimbledon were among a group of 16 players who had repeatedly been reported for losing when highly-suspicious bets have been placed against them.

But Kermode dismissed the reports at a news conference at the Australian Open on Monday.

"The Tennis Integrity Unit and the tennis authorities absolutely reject any suggestion that evidence of match-fixing has been suppressed for any reason or isn't being thoroughly investigated," he said.

"And while the BBC and BuzzFeed reports mainly refer to events from about 10 years ago, we will investigate any new information, and we always do.

"In its investigations, the Tennis Integrity Unit has to find evidence as opposed to information, suspicion, or hearsay. This is the key here, that it requires evidence.

"A year-long investigation into the Sopot match in 2007 [between Nikolay Davydenko and Martin Vassallo Arguello] found insufficient evidence."

Kermode stressed that evidence was crucial to for the TIU, which was set up in 2008.

Head of the TIU, Nigel Willerton, said he was happy with the access the body had to players' records in investigations.

"Under the Tennis Anticorruption Program, we can demand their phones and laptops and iPads. Obviously they have to consent to give them," he said.

"However, if they don't then consent to give them that's called noncooperation, and they can be reported and sanctioned for noncooperation, in which there was a case recently when a player was sanctioned for a two-year suspension."

Willerton said: "Everything that comes into the unit is actioned, it's assessed.

"But as I say, corruption is very difficult to detect and to obtain the evidence to prosecute these people who unfortunately go down that path."

Willerton refused to comment on whether current players were being investigated, saying it would be "inappropriate".