Tennis officials set for UK Parliament probe

Tennis officials will later today (Wednesday) be questioned about the sport’s response to match-fixing and gambling corruption by a UK Parliamentary committee.

Nigel Willerton, the director of integrity at the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU), Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) executive chairman and president Chris Kermode and Mark Young, the vice-chairman and chief legal and media officer of the ATP, will be publicly quizzed by members of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee from 2.30pm GMT.

The committee began an investigation into the integrity of tennis last month following allegations made by the BBC and Buzzfeed news agencies that match-fixing was not being dealt with adequately by the sport’s governing bodies.

The committee, which has stated its interest in the controversial game between Nikolay Davydenko and Martin Vassallo Arguello in Sopot, Poland, in 2007, chooses its own subjects of inquiry and will produce a report to outline its findings, which will include recommendations to the UK Government.

A CMS committee statement read: “The committee will explore how the governing bodies of tennis address match-fixing, and any weaknesses in the governance of the game, nationally and internationally.

“In January 2016, the BBC and BuzzFeed News published a report titled ‘The Tennis Racket’, alleging that sport’s governing bodies have been warned repeatedly about a core group of 16 players – all of whom rank in the top 50 – but none has faced any sanctions and more than half of them played at the Australian Open held in January 2016.

“The ATP have also been criticised as having been told by Betfair and other bookmakers of the threat of gambling corruption in tennis over a period of several years before the situation was brought to light at the Orange Prokom tournament in Sopot, Poland.”

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