Tennis match-fixing and gambling controversy continue to blemish the sports integrity

Tennis match-fixing and gambling controversy continue to blemish the sports integrity

Tennis world heats up not because of any anticipated match, but due the recent scandal surrounding the particular sports. In the recent updates of the widely followed tennis match-fixing controversy, authorities managed to secure a real evidence linking almost 37 players, and 29 of whom have ranked in the top 50.

Italian prosecutor Roberto di Martino revealed that they had managed to seize evidence, named as the Cremona files, from gamblers suspected of fixing matches. With the confiscation of such evidence, head prosecutor Di Martino is convinced that such underground enterprise is not an isolated case, and referred to this phenomenon as a “worldwide problem very frequently” at “all tournaments”.

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Now this would not be the first time that such notion of systematic tennis match-fixing was pointed out. Based on the report of BuzzFeed, Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) already had an insight about such evidence but chose to ignore the international evidence.

“Di Martino said the sport’s authorities should use their powers to seize the phones and computers of all the players who are mentioned, to prove whether they were fixing matches. But he said he was dismayed when investigators from its integrity unit ignored the international evidence when they visited Cremona three months ago and seemed ‘exclusively’ interested in the Italian players facing prosecution, BuzzFeed reported.

Di Martino also scrutinised the tennis authorities for failing to respond on many tips from the gambling industry about questionable betting on tennis matches. “I do not understand why there was no real initiative by the integrity unit to prove if there was something dirty behind this,” the prosecutor said.

In connection to the said gambling tips, sports authorities have been accused of downplaying the situation. In a separate report, Paola Cesaroni, mother of another local tennis star, Federico Luzzi who died of leukaemia in 2008, accused world tennis authorities of a cover-up to protect higher-ranking players included in a tennis gambling controversy.

“Paola Cesaroni, has come forward to claim her son was unfairly scapegoated. She says the full Interwetten list contained the names of 100 players, but claims that instead of taking action against the others an official at the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) took steps to protect them, warning them to shut down their accounts,” BuzzFeed reported.

In line with reports of gambling controversy and solid tennis match-fixing evidence, Di Martino hopes for sports authorities to pursue internal leads, and hopefully by doing so clearing once more the name of tennis as a noble sport.

Photo Courtesy: Vladsinger/ Wikimedia