In a bid to bring an end to the controversial match fixing scandals rocking the sport, Tennis officials on Wednesday in Melbourne, Australia, announced an independent review into the sport’s anti-corruption practices, including its internal integrity unit.
Recent investigations reveal that there has been an illegal betting in tennis in the past decade.
Over the past 10 years, 16 players who have ranked in the top 50 have been repeatedly flagged to the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) over suspicions they have fixed matches.
A statement from the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), International Tennis Federation (ITF) and heads of all four Grand Slams said the review is aimed at further safeguarding the integrity of the game.
They called on all global government to make match-fixing a criminal offence.
Leaders of tennis multiple bodies have been meeting at Melbourne Park, site of the Australian Open, which has been overshadowed by reports of match-fixing.
The ATP chairman, Chris Kermode in a recent news conference said It is unprecedented that the seven stakeholders of tennis have come together with one purpose.
A British expert in sports law, Adam Lewis is expected to lead the inquiry which will give him and his panel full access to officials, players and information on the game.
Wimbledon chairman and head of sport’s integrity Board, Phillip Brook reiterated that it is vital they repair the damage as soon as possible.
“We remain totally confident in the work of the Tennis Integrity Unit. However, it is really important we conduct this independent review in order that everyone who loves our sport and watches our sport is confident that we are doing all we can to make sure the integrity of the sport is maintained.”
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The independent panel is expected to report on the effectiveness of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme and make recommendations for change.
They will also examine whether the scope and reach of the tennis integrity education programme should be extended.