Tennis match-fixing claims: MPs to question authorities

Silhouette of a tennis player
Tennis authorities are conducting an independent review of anti-corruption practices following a BBC and BuzzFeed News investigation

MPs will put questions to tennis officials on Wednesday about match-fixing claims in the sport.

Nigel Willerton, director of the Tennis Integrity Board, and Chris Kermode, who heads the Association of Tennis Professionals, will both be quizzed.

Tennis authorities are already conducting an independent review into the sport's anti-corruption practices.

It follows a BBC and BuzzFeed News investigation that uncovered suspected illegal betting in tennis.

A culture, media and sport select committee "will explore how the governing bodies of tennis address match-fixing, and any weaknesses in the governance of the game, nationally and internationally".

The joint investigation by the BBC and BuzzFeed uncovered files showing that, over the past 10 years, 16 players who were ranked in the top 50 have been repeatedly flagged to the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) over suspicions their matches were targeted.

ATP president Chris Kermode tells the BBC he is aware there is match-fixing within tennis but says it is at an 'incredibly small level'

All of the players, including winners of Grand Slam titles, were allowed to continue competing.

TIU chairman Philip Brook said he remains "totally confident" in the work of his organisation in catching cheats, while Kermode accepted there is the need to "be as open and transparent as possible".

He added: "Having lists of suspicious betting patterns do not mean corruption. They are a red flag and that is not evidence."

Last week, sports gambling watchdog Essa produced a report which said tennis accounted for nearly three-quarters of all suspicious betting alerts flagged in 2015.

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