The Tennis Integrity
Unit (TIU), the dedicated anti-corruption unit supported by the governing
bodies of tennis, has revealed that a total of 48 alerts were generated in
the first quarter of 2016 relating to unusual or suspicious betting activity in
matches it monitors, up from 31 in the prior year year period.
The majority of the
alerts concerned the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) Men’s Futures
tournament, which accounted for half (24) of all alerts over the three-month
period. A further 12 were generated on the Association of Tennis Professionals’
Men’s Challenger matches, while 10 concerned the ITF’s Women’s Futures matches.
Only one alert related
to a Grand Slam match, and one a World Tennis Association Tour match.
While this represents
a 55 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of alerts generated in the
quarter, the TIU says that this should be seen in the context of the number of
matches played around the world in the period. With 24,110 matches played over
the three months, just 0.2 per cent generated an alert.
The TIU noted that the
alerts were not an exact science, with different operators using different
trigger points, meaning one company may issue an alert on a particular match
while another may not.
It said that every
alert was assessed and followed up, but added that an alert was not a definite
indicator of match-fixing. There could be many reasons other than corrupt
activity, it said, such as incorrect odds-setting; player fitness, fatigure and
form; playing conditions and personal circumstances. However, the TIU said, if
there was any indication of corrupt activity, it would conduct a full
Last year a total of
246 alerts were received and assessed.
The TIU also offered
an update on three players sanctioned over the course of the quarter. Unranked
Thai player Jatuporn Nalamphun was suspended for 18 months and fined $5,000
after admitting to betting on tennis matches. Nalamphun contested, but was
found guilty of a further charge of failing to cooperate with a TIU
investigation. Data provided through MoUs with ESSA and the Gibraltar licensing
authority aided TIU in investigating the case.
Polish player Piotor
Gadomski, meanwhile, is appealing against a seven-year suspension and $15,000
fine for breaches of the 2012 Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme, with a hearing
held at the Court of Arbitration in Sport. In September last year he had been
found guilty of four breaches of the Programme, involving matches at the F1, F2
and F3 Futures tournaments in 2012. A decision on his appeal is expected to be
made in June.
Australian player Nick Lindahl was fined AUD$1,000 and given a 12-month good
behaviour bond by New South Wales magistrate Michelle Goodwin for match-fixing
offences in April. The TIU has worked closely with Australian law enforcement
agencies on the case since September 2013. Now the criminal investigation has
been completed, the TIU can begin its investigation under the Anti-Corruption
Programme and may impose further punishments.
The quarter also saw
tennis’ governing bodies form an independent review panel to assess and report
on the effectiveness of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme. It is being led
by Adam Lewis QC, who has been joined by US litigator Beth Wilkinson and Marc
Henzelin, partner in the Geneva-based law firm LALIVE.
The panel is expected
to publish a report on the Programme after twelve months, with the tennis
bodies already committed to acting and implementing its findings.
The TIU has also expanded its resources and capabilities with the recruitment
of a new data analyst and investigator. Nadia Tuominen joined as the new data
analyst early in April, with an experienced investigator set to follow in May.