The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) has said that exhibition tennis events staged during the lockdown of professional tennis between April and June has resulted in 24 suspicious matches being reported to the TIU by regulated betting operators, in a media release on their website.
24 suspicious matches at exhibition events have been reported to the TIU
In its release, the TIU said that 24 matches held at the exhibition events during the months of April to June when the professional circuit was suspended were reported by the betting regulators.
In addition to the 24 Level 1 reports, one match played at a WTA $125k tournament in 2019 has been retrospectively classified as a match alert, following review by the TIU. The match alerts have been filed by gambling companies who track unusual betting patterns around matches.
The alerts do not indicate that a match was surely fixed . It could also be due to information about a player's injury or health status leaking. Several exhibition events have been held in the United States and Europe in the past couple of months as the professional circuit remains suspended due to the current global crisis.
In its statement, the TU said, "Suspicious betting on tennis during the lockdown is seen as a firm indicator that corruptors remain active, and are likely to increase their focus on the sport when professional tennis resumes in August."
In its briefing note for the April to June 2020 quarter, the TIU also said that the Tennis Integrity Supervisory Board has agreed that the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) will be responsible for making charging decisions in future corruption cases.
As per the existing process, "four PTIOs (Professional Tennis Integrity Officers) representing the sport’s governing bodies, make those decisions, which are then referred to an independent hearing officer to take forward.
With effect from January 2021, the ITIA will replace the TIU as the independent integrity organisation for professional tennis." The Board decision to transfer that responsibility to the ITIA is a further and significant move towards the organisation’s operational and legal independence from the ATP, WTA, ITF and Grand Slams."
The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) is the anti-corruption body for professional tennis around the world and is responsible for enforcing the sport’s zero-tolerance policy on betting-related corruption. Based in London, it is funded by the sport's seven major stakeholders – the International Tennis Federation, ATP, WTA, Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.