The ATP has come out and rejected claims that match-fixing in the sport is not being taken seriously and even being ignored. Chris Kermode, ATP Tour executive chairman, has come out in defense of the Tennis ruling body.
The BBC and Buzzfeed News announced in a publication that a total of 16 of the top 50 players in the sport have been reported to the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) because of dubious actions over the last ten years.
Players began to be reported to the TIU in 2007 after dubious betting activity was noted and a probe was launched for the match between Nikolay Davydenko and Martin Vassallo Arguello. However, both Davydenko and Arguello were exonerated.
Proof of dubious acts involving a good number of highly ranked players increased, but no disciplinary actions or punishments were undertaken. The resulting probe was officially closed in 2008.
The claims included tennis games played at the Wimbledon Championship in England and the Roland Garros Tournament in France, and name champions of Grand Slam championships amid the most notable group of the accused.
A member of the punting detectives opened up to the BBC and said he was completely shocked that the report in the first 2007 investigation was not acted upon and was shelved by the mother Tennis body.
In the ATP’s defense, Chris Kermode said they follow through any solid accusations that are put forward in front of them.
After the BBC published these dubious activities, Kermode said that the four tennis controlling bodies partnering the TIU (ATP, WTA, Grand Slam Board, and ITF) say that they take nothing for granted when it comes to all fraud and misconduct and will not stop in their quest to keep the sport clean.
Kermode, who is also part of the TIU, said that like all sporting authorities, Tennis in entirely devoted in protecting the sport from dubious gambling and illegal activities.
Kermode went on to describe that the tennis mother body has a structure in place to deal with all unscrupulous dealings, and they can react firmly when these structures are unsettled. All players and officials are under this structure, and anyone of them faces punishment if they threaten to break these structures.
He expects all players and officials to be aware of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program, which gives the TIU great authority to probe. This authority extends to bringing in suspected parties for questioning, getting access to personal computer, banking and cellphone records.
Kermode added that all players and official staff are not completely acquitted of suspected activities in dishonesty and misconduct. Because corruption is very hard to manifest, some cases may take a long time to solve, but the TIU will not close cases where proof is still apparent.