Final tennis corruption report recommends no live streaming of lowest-tier events

By Russell FullerBBC tennis correspondent
Tennis rackets
The Independent Review Panel was set up in January 2016 after a BBC and BuzzFeed News investigation

A final report into corruption in tennis says there should be no live streaming, or scoring data provided, at the lowest tier of professional tennis.

The Independent Review Panel has also reiterated its view that betting companies should no longer be able to sponsor tournaments.

But it has watered down a suggestion in April's interim report that players' appearance fees should be published.

The report was set up after concerns were raised about betting in tennis.

A joint BBC and BuzzFeed News investigation uncovered suspected illegal betting in January 2016.

The panel says it has been "impressed with the level of assistance and cooperation provided to it throughout".

The sport's various governing bodies have committed to implementing the recommendations in full, and the panel says it "considers the sport is well-positioned to address the integrity challenges that it faces".

The ban on live scoring data was initially proposed for all events offering up to $25,000 in prize money.

But following a period of consultation, the panel has decided it should just apply to $15,000 events, as evidence suggests the problem is significantly greater at this lower level.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) currently has a contract in place with Sportradar, which allows the Swiss based company to act as the official distributor of all its data.

During the consultation period Sportradar argued preventing the sale of official data would open up a black market.

David Lampitt, Sportradar's managing director group operations, said the company "welcomed" the decision to lower the ban to $15,000 events.

"However we believe that they could and should have gone further. The panel's approach remains disproportionate," he added

The contract, worth in the region of $70m, still has three years to run.

The panel says the ITF should not "enter into any new contract or extend the term of any current arrangements" - but stresses the other governing bodies should compensate it for the loss of vital future revenue.

The report adds that "as yet, the international governing bodies have not established a basis, or even a clear commitment, to provide the funding".

On appearance fees, the panel has accepted a proposal that a confidential report should instead be sent to the Tennis Integrity Unit. It says it recognises the practical difficulties in publishing fees, or imposing limits on the amount a tournament is able to pay.

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