Published On: Mon, Jan 18th, 2016

Fixing scam lurks in the shadows as Australian Open 2016 gets underway

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Year’s first Grand Slam begins down under

The Australian Open 2016 has begun amidst the match fixing controversies. The BBC and BuzzFeed claimed 16 top-50 players in the past decade, including Grand Slam champions, had been repeatedly suspected of fixing matches for betting syndicates- which has been denied by the tennis officials.

Djokovic approached to fix a match

As speculation swirled over the identities of the suspected players — eight of whom are reportedly in Melbourne — world number one Novak Djokovic said he was once approached to fix a match.

The men’s tour and the sport’s anti-corruption body, the Tennis Integrity Unit, as well as Tennis Australia firmly rejected suggestions that any evidence was deliberately suppressed.

The joint investigation has overshadowed the Australian Open’s opening day, and thrown the grandiose sport into turmoil. The report details major match-fixing evidence in tennis, sensationally headlined by “winners of singles and doubles titles at Grand Slam tournaments”.

The leaked files include details of an investigation into a 2007 match between Nikolay Davydenko and Martin Vassallo Arguello, which found insufficient evidence of corrupt practice.

The report said the probe uncovered syndicates in Russia and Italy making hundreds of thousands of dollars betting on matches investigators thought to be fixed.

The key group of 16 suspect players had not been targeted in any crackdown, it said, questioning the effectiveness of the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU).

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