Suspicious Tennis Matches Up 20% Last Year

In its first annual report, the Tennis Integrity Unit revealed that it received alerts about suspicious betting on 292 matches in 2016.

Posted on

A year after charges of widespread match-fixing shook the tennis world, the sport’s authorities have announced that warnings about suspicious activity are up 20% and that the sport’s anti-corruption group increased its budget by a third and doubled the size of its staff.

As a result, the head of the expanded Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) said, "more players and officials were investigated, prosecuted and sanctioned than in any previous year since the TIU was established in 2008." The announcement was part of the group’s first-ever annual report.

The unit has faced criticism over its lack of transparency since an investigation last January, by BuzzFeed News and the BBC, revealed that tennis authorities had for years failed to act on evidence of extensive match-fixing. An outside panel is now reviewing the sport’s handling of corruption cases. Adam Lewis, an expert in sports law, is leading the panel, which is expected to publish its preliminary findings this spring.

In Wednesday’s report, the TIU said 152 of 292 alerts it received regarding suspicious matches involved ITF Futures Tournaments, the lowest level of men’s tennis. Only eight of the suspicious alerts referred to matches on the highest levels of professional tennis.

In front of the UK Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee in February, the TIU said that it had received alerts on 246 matches in 2015.

John Templon is a data reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. His secure PGP fingerprint is 2FF6 89D6 9606 812D 5663 C7CE 2DFF BE75 55E5 DF99

Contact John Templon at john.templon@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.