Spanish police probing match-fixing in tennis

Tanya Simon
January 13, 2019

Authorities said members of the Armenian ring attended the matches to ensure the players complied with the fixes.

"Once the bribe had been paid, the Armenians went to the match venues to use their imposing muscle to make sure that the player kept their end of the deal".

The Civil Guard said that the operation had been prompted by complaints from the Tennis Integrity Unit, the sport's anti-corruption body.

One of those athletes competed at the US Open a year ago and the net is closing in on the Armenian criminal gang who organised the enterprise.

One player, whose identity was not revealed, competed in the 2018 US Open.

The agency also seized credit cards, five luxury vehicles, over 50 electronic devices and documents related to the case.

Twenty-eight professional tennis players are being investigated over alleged match-fixing, Spanish police have revealed.

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The investigation, codenamed Operation Bitures, started in 2017 when the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) an worldwide anti-corruption body, made a complaint about a Spanish tennis player, who has not been named.

"The suspects bribed professional players to guarantee predetermined results and used the identities of thousands of citizens to bet on the prearranged games, " Europol said in a news release.

In total, 83 people were implicated in the probe, including the alleged leaders of the Armenian group. Forty-two bank accounts have been frozen.

Spanish police have dismantled a gang that allegedly fixed professional tennis matches, detaining 15 people and probing 68 others including players, one of whom competed in last year's US Open, they said Thursday.

Match-fixing has been a prominent issue in tennis recently, with Belgian prosecutors detaining 13 people in connection with the issue in June.

An independent review panel, set up by the sport's four governing organisations, the ATP, WTA, ITF and Grand Slam Board, last month published a report into the threat of match fixing in the sport.

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