Tennis has been rocked to its core after allegations of widespread corruption amongst some of the sport’s elite players.
An investigation carried out by Buzzfeed News and the BBC claims to have uncovered evidence that governing bodies within tennis have been repeatedly warned about a core group of 16 players – all of whom have ranked in the top 50 at some point in their careers – and the potential that they have been involved in match-fixing.
All of the players, including winners of Grand Slam titles, were allowed to continue competing at the highest level.
Files obtained by the news outlets are said to contain details of betting syndicates in Italy and Russia that are alleged to have played a big part in fixing particular matches, with winners of singles and doubles titles at Grand Slam tournaments among the 16 players repeatedly reported for losing games when suspicious bets have been placed against them.
These syndicates are said to have targeted top players by offering them briefcases of cash in their hotel rooms during tournaments including Wimbledon and the French Open.
Moreover, one player competing in the Australian Open – which kicked-off today in Melbourne – is suspected of repeatedly fixing his first set and eight of the players repeatedly flagged are due to compete in the tournament.
The reports also cite the growing trend of top tennis players forfeiting, or deliberately losing games, whilst mentioning players carving up ranking points and prize money between them pre-match.
Players are still reacting the remarkable claims, with Andy Murray tweeting a link to Buzzfeed’s original story, but didn’t attach any comment…
— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) January 17, 2016
What do you think of the claims? Should we be surprised by the revelations, or is it naive to assume that our favourite sports men and women are immune for scandals like this?