Tennis Match Fixing Penalty Crack DownJake Cooper | 11 Jan 2018
The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) is renowned for hitting down hard on any form of corruption within tennis, worldwide. The Unit has a reputation of coming down hard and fast on sportsbetting-related corruption and irregularities.
According to a recent report, the Unit sanctioned a total of 13 players in 2017, with 5 banned as a result of match-fixing allegations. Four more were banned for actually betting on matches.
A Focus on Figures
When considering that in 2016 the figures told a similar story, when 9 players and officials had been sanctioned for similar offenses, it becomes apparent just how necessary a governing body such as the Tennis Integrity Unit actually is in the world of competitive tennis where there are huge international tournaments like The Australian Open and Wimbledon seen worldwide.
The process generally starts off with the Unit creating what is known as match alerts. A match alert does not imply culpability in itself, but merely serves to create an identifier that indicates that an irregular activity may or may not have occurred. Once an identifier has been put into place, further information is gathered by a specialised team of experts in the employment of the Unit, after which certain findings will be made known and further disciplinary steps taken if these are shown to be justified.
For the 2017 year, Romania, Greece and Japan were hit the hardest. Alexandru-Daniel Carpen, Konstantinos Mikos and Junn Mitsuhashi were all handed lifetime bans from competing as a result of having been found guilty of actual match-fixing activities.
The US and Australia also came under the loop, with Nikita Kryvonos and Nick Lindahl handed a 10 and 7 year ban respectively, also for match-fixing activities.
Lesser charges were also brought, for those players found to have been merely guilty of sport betting, and not actual match fixing. These include Mihaita Damian from Romania, on whom a 12 month ban has been enforced, and also Calum Puttergill from Australia, who will be excluded from competing for a total of six months.
Spain’s Samuel Ribeiro Navarette and Marius Frosa from Romania were each issued with 8-month penalties.
Improvement Seen Overall
Despite the fact that the 2016/2017 figures indicate that corruption in the sport is on the rise in general, when considering the numbers as far as the actual match alerts go, it’s clear that the Unit has been quite affective in combating corruption as there has been a steady decline in the number of alerts issued.
The TIU has also confirmed that a more detailed report concerning recent match-fixing findings will be made available soon.