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Widespread match-fixing in tennis revealed in documents

By Shawn Price   |   Jan. 18, 2016 at 12:53 AM
| License Photo

LONDON, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Widespread match-fixing at the top level of world tennis is alleged in a new report by the BBC and BuzzFeed News.

Leaked files reveal that tennis authorities have allegedly been aware of compelling evidence of match fixing in multiple events, including Wimbledon, for seven years, but have not acted on it, the report alleges.

The evidence shows 16 players ranked in the top 50 over the last decade were flagged multiple times over suspicions they threw matches. Some of the 16 players are winners of Grand Slam tournaments. Half of the suspicious group will be playing in this week's Australian Open.

However, up to 70 players' names appear on the leaked documents for losing at least one game when highly suspicious bets were placed against them.

The players are not being named because the investigation is still ongoing.

The documents handed to the BBC and BuzzFeed News also contain the conclusions from a 2008 investigation by the sport's organizing body, the Assn. of Tennis Professionals.

The investigation found Russian and Italian groups allegedly organized the match-fixing, but when the evidence was given to tennis authorities, nothing happened.

"They could have got rid of a network of players that would have almost completely cleared the sport up," said investigator Mark Phillips. "We gave them everything tied up with a nice pink bow on top and they took no action at all."

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