Australia

Australian Open tennis junior champion avoids match-fix conviction

Oliver Anderson Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Oliver Anderson beat Uzbekistan's Jurabek Karimov to the 2016 Australian Open boys' singles title

Former Australian Open tennis junior champion Oliver Anderson has avoided a conviction for match-fixing.

Anderson, 19, admitted throwing the first set of a match at the Traralgon Challenger tournament in Australia last October.

He was charged by police in January, just days before the Australian Open.

Anderson pleaded guilty and was on Tuesday handed a two-year good behaviour bond by a magistrate in Victoria state.

He had already been provisionally suspended from professional tennis in February pending an investigation by the Tennis Integrity Unit, the organisation responsible for policing the sport.

In 2016, the Brisbane teenager won the Australian Open boys' singles title by beating Uzbekistan's Jurabek Karimov.

Suspicious bet

A magistrate in Victoria heard that a friend approached Anderson before the Traralgon tournament and asked if he would be prepared to drop the first set, Fairfax Media reported. Anderson later agreed.

He lost the first set against Harrison Lombe after being broken at 4-4 before going on to win the next two sets.

Police began investigating after a betting agency reported suspicious activity.

Anderson lost the next match in the second-tier tournament.

The teenager, now ranked 1,065 in the world, had co-operated fully with authorities, a family spokesman said earlier this year.

Last year, a joint BBC/Buzzfeed investigation alleged that the Tennis Integrity Unit failed to act on suspicions that 16 top-50 ranked players have been involved in match-fixing.

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