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Tennis match-fixing: 'Tsunami' of corruption at lower levels says report

Tennis match-fixing: 'Tsunami' of corruption at lower levels says report

BBC Sport understands the Independent Review Panel report cost close to £20mA "tsunami" of match-fixing is plaguing lower-level tennis events, says a long-awaited report into corruption in the sport.But the Independent Review Panel (IRP) has found no evidence of a cover up of these issues by governing bodies or the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU).The report also shows no evidence of top-level players being implicated.
The panel - which BBC Sport understands cost close to £20m to fund - spoke to more than 100 players for the report.Wednesday's report says there is a "very significant" corruption problem at "lower and middle levels of the sport" and especially in the men's game.It found "some evidence of some issues" at higher levels, such as Grand Slams and Tour events, but the evidence does not reveal a "widespread problem" in elite professional tennis.Other key findings include:
One betting operator said "the situation in tennis is grimmer than grim"
It also identified a "match-fixing 'season'" from October until the end of the year with "traces of up to two or three fixed matches per day" in International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournaments
The report proposes an end to betting sponsorship from tennis, especially tournaments
Investigations at Grand Slams were "insufficient", while other investigations were "inappropriate or ineffective, resulting in missed opportunities"
The ATP, the organisational body of men's professional tennis, are guilty of "failing to exhaust potential leads before ending investigations"
The TIU should be reorganised and reformed
The IRP was set up in January 2016 after a BBC and BuzzFeed News investigation uncovered suspected illegal betting.The report received 3,200 survey responses from players at all levels around the world, of which 464 said they had first-hand knowledge of match-fixing.It also draws on statements from more than 200 key stakeholders in professional tennis, including from governing bodies, tournament organisers and betting operators.
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