Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

Tennis fixing probe: Spain arrests 83 people, including 28 players

The Spanish Civil Guard arrested 83 people in connection Image The Spanish Civil Guard arrested 83 people in connection
Cassandra Castillo | 11 January, 2019, 10:11

The names of those arrested have not yet been disclosed, but it has been widely reported that one player participated in last September's US Open.

Luxury vehicles, a shotgun, credit cards and 167,000 euros (£151,000) in cash were seized.

Professional tennis' anti-corruption body a year ago complained about irregular activities at games, including prearranged matches, at the lower-tier ITF Futures and Challenger tournaments.

Spanish police conducted 11 raids on houses as part of the operation, leading to 15 arrests, including a number of players.

Spanish police say 28 professional tennis players, including one who participated in last year's US Open, have been linked to an worldwide organized group accused of fixing matches.

An independent review panel, set up by the sport's four governing organisations, the ATP, WTA, ITF and Grand Slam Board, last month published a report into the threat of match-fixing in the sport. But the European Sports Security Association, which tracks betting for bookmakers, has said tennis tops the list of sports linked to suspicious gambling, according to the BBC. More than 40 bank accounts used by those allegedly involved with the ring were blocked by authorities.

More news: Family of man wrongfully accused in Jazmine Barnes' shooting speaks out

Authorities said on Thursday the players fixed results after taking bribes from the Armenian ring.

In a statement Europol said: "The suspects bribed professional players to guarantee predetermined results and used the identities of thousands of citizens to bet on the pre-arranged games".

In total, 83 suspects were arrested, with 28 of these professional tennis players.

It was a warning by the Tennis Integrity Unit in 2017 that prompted Spanish authorities to begin the investigation. They also gave orders for "other members of the group" to place bets at the "national and worldwide level".

None of the arrested people has been named.

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