Tennis star and world number one, Novak Djokovic, talks about match-fixing at day one of the Australian Open.
There are allegations that tennis authorities have failed to deal with widespread match-fixing. During a tournament in St. Petersburg in 2007, Djokovic’s team were offered to throw a match for £154,000 (Note: some reports indicate the amount to be £110,000)
The 28-year-old winner of ten Grand Slam titles believes that match-fixing at the top end of the game is not such a big problem nowadays. “It’s just speculation,” Djokovic said.
The Daily Express reports:
The report claimed the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) refused to take action against those involved, which included 16 players who’ve been ranked in the top 50.
The players allegedly involved, including Grand Slam winners, were allowed to continue competing.
And Djokovic, the current world number one, has revealed he was offered £154,000 to throw a match in 2007 in the first round of the St Petersburg Open.
The Serb won the Australian Open last year and beat South Korean Hyeon Chung in straight sets in the first round today.
“I was approached through people working with me,” he said. “Of course, we threw it away right away. It didn’t even get to me.
“From my knowledge and information about match-fixing, there is nothing happening at the top level, as far as I know.
“At challenger level, maybe, maybe not. But I’m not entitled to really talk about it. I can give my opinion.
“But there is an organisation, authorities, people who take care of that on a daily basis and make sure to track it down.”
The BBC and BuzzFeed report claims the tennis authorities were presented with evidence of corruption in 2007, as betting syndicates in Russia and Italy made hundreds of thousands of pounds on games that investigators thought were being fixed – three of these games were at Wimbledon.
But no subsequent action was taken by the game’s authorities.
Chris Kermode, head of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), rejected the media report’s claims but added: “While the BBC and BuzzFeed reports mainly refer to events from about 10 years ago, we will investigate any new information.”
Nigel Willerton, director of integrity at TIU, has broken his silence after refusing to speak to the media in Melbourne.
He told the BBC: “All credible information received by the TIU is analysed, assessed and investigated by highly experienced former law-enforcement investigators.”
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