Listen to former tennis player tell BBC that match-fixing 'is a secret that everybody knows'

BBC Sport has published a fresh claim from an unnamed South American tennis player which detailed how matches are allegedly rigged and how criminals try to avoid detection.

The male player, who requested anonymity, conducted an interview with the 'World Have Your Say' team.

He alleged that the issues were "like a secret on the tour that everybody knows, but we don't talk about it.. You know who is doing it, and who is not... We just see it and keep working".

An investigation carried out by the BBC and Buzzfeed alleges that over the last decade a core group of 16 players have been brought to the attention of the sport's governing bodies over suspicions they have fixed matches.

The report claims all of the 16 players have ranked in the world's top 50 at some point and that more than half of them were playing in the Australian Open first round, which started on Monday.

Claims that the sports authorities "don't want it to be stopped" were rejected by the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU), which was set up in 2008.

The TIU has called for any players who have concerns over possible match-fixing to come forward, reaffirming there is no evidence of anyone suppressing reports.

"The TIU and the tennis authorities absolutely reject any suggestion that evidence of match fixing has been suppressed for any reason," the organisation said in a statement.

"The sport has a zero-tolerance approach which is enforced with the full powers of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program, which includes lifetime bans and punitive financial penalties.

"Since 2009 all professional players, support staff and officials have been subject to this stringent code, which makes it compulsory to report any corrupt approaches or knowledge of suspected corrupt practices to the TIU.

"Failure to do so is a breach of the Program which can be subject to disciplinary action.

"The TIU works closely with players to prevent corruption through education programmes and confidential reporting systems.

"The great majority of the 21,000 active professional players are good people of high integrity who abhor the suggestion that the sport they love is tainted with allegations of corruption.

"We invite the player behind the allegations to make contact with the TIU and to share the information he claims to have."

It is alleged that in 2007 tennis authorities were presented with an examination of 26,000 matches, three of them at Wimbledon, which contained enough evidence to root out offenders - but no action was taken.

The BBC, meanwhile, had said the group of 16 players also included ''winners of grand slam titles'' but neither organisation named players, insisting it is not possible to determine whether they were personally taking part in match-fixing.

Current world number one Novak Djokovic, meanwhile, branded match-fixing as a "crime in sport" and confirmed he was offered £110,000 in 2006 to lose a first round match in St Petersburg.

Seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer says he will only believe accusations of widespread match-fixing when the perpetrators are named.

Federer answered several questions on the controversy following his first-round win over Nikoloz Basilashvili at the Australian Open on Monday, but grew irritated when asked about the potential involvement of major champions.

''I would love to hear names,'' the Swiss said.

''Then at least it's concrete stuff and you can actually debate about it.

''Was it the player? Was it the support team? Who was it? Was it before? Was it a doubles player, a singles player? Which slam?

''It's so all over the place. It's nonsense to answer something that is pure speculation.''

Britain's leading player Andy Murray wants more "proactive" movement from the authorities.

He said: "As a player, you just want to be made aware of everything that's going on. I think we deserve to know everything that's out there."

More on this topic

Players’ phones searched in match-fixing investigationPlayers’ phones searched in match-fixing investigation

Gardaí investigate match-fixing allegation in LimerickGardaí investigate match-fixing allegation in Limerick

57 police raids take place in European football match-fixing probe57 police raids take place in European football match-fixing probe

Goalkeeper denies match-fixing against LiverpoolGoalkeeper denies match-fixing against Liverpool

More in this Section

Owen Farrell says England duty is good news for Saracens playersOwen Farrell says England duty is good news for Saracens players

Dual star O’Hara goes on trial with Hawthorn as McShane arrives in AustraliaDual star O’Hara goes on trial with Hawthorn as McShane arrives in Australia

Federer and Djokovic ease into Australian Open third roundFederer and Djokovic ease into Australian Open third round

Rashford confident of Manchester United return before end of the seasonRashford confident of Manchester United return before end of the season


Lifestyle

Dr Sarah Miller is the CEO of Dublin’s Rediscovery Centre, the national centre for the Circular Economy in Ireland. She has a degree in Biotechnology and a PHD in Environmental Science in Waste Conversion Technologies.‘We have to give people positive messages’

When I was pregnant with Joan, I knew she was a girl. We didn’t find out the gender of the baby, but I just knew. Or else, I so badly wanted a girl, I convinced myself that is exactly what we were having.Mum's the Word: I have a confession: I never wanted sons. I wanted daughters

What is it about the teenage years that are so problematic for families? Why does the teenage soul rage against the machine of the adult world?Learning Points: It’s not about the phone, it’s about you and your teen

Judy Collins is 80, and still touring. As she gets ready to return to Ireland, she tells Ellie O’Byrne about the songs that have mattered most in her incredible 60-year career.The songs that matter most to Judy Collins from her 60-year career

More From The Irish Examiner