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Tennis "is about to explode". Organised crime has already infiltrated Tennis.

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Tennis "is about to explode". Organised crime has already infiltrated Tennis.  Empty Tennis "is about to explode". Organised crime has already infiltrated Tennis.

Post by Tenez on Thu Nov 27, 2014 3:52 pm

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/nov/25/organised-crime-tennis-security-expert

Tennis has been warned it must act quickly to avoid being compromised by organised crime groups, which are already infiltrating the sport.

Chris Eaton, a former Interpol officer who is the director of integrity at the International Centre for Sports Security, believes the Challenger Tour, one rung below the main ATP Tour, is especially vulnerable because of its low prize money compared with the grand slam events and Masters 1000s.

“Tennis is the third most susceptible sport in the world,” Eaton said. “It goes football, cricket, tennis. We know the Challengers is a very attacked series. The fact is these players can break into the full circuit. If they break into the full circuit [and have been compromised], you are owned in the big league. Once you’re compromised, you’re compromised for life. Watch tennis, it’s going to explode.”

Eaton says he has seen compelling evidence of organised crime syndicates using sports betting, which results in corruption and match-fixing. While tennis instigated the Tennis Integrity Unit in 2008 and continues to educate players and officials about the dangers and penalties of breaching the rules, Eaton believes it is going about it the wrong way.

“They [tennis] want silver bullets,” he said. “Sport wants to have sport-betting monitoring being the answer, [so they say] ‘let’s educate players. Fixed’. No it’s not, that’s the beginning. The hard work is investigating, supervising, challenging players, doing random audits of players, random audits of referees. This takes professionals. Sport sadly doesn’t have the professionals to do it. That’s where government comes in.

“Governments have got to stop worrying about sport; they’ve got to start moving their gauge to organised crime and sport betting. If you stop the money … the money comes from sport betting, it doesn’t come from match fixing. Match fixing is the end result.”

While Novak Djokovic and Petra Kvitova each took home £1.76m for winning Wimbledon in July, the highest-paying events on the Challenger Tour award only just over £12,000 to the winner. James Ward, Britain’s No2 behind Andy Murray and the world No107, reached two Challenger Tour finals in 2014 and received £5,411 pounds for his troubles. On the Futures Tour, the first rung of the professional ladder, winners regularly receive less than £1,000, barely enough to cover expenses.

The ATP insists it is “fully committed to the goal of a corruption-free sport” and its chief executive, Chris Kermode, said he is committed to raising prize money on the Challenger Tour and low level ATP tour events.

In a statement, the ATP said: “The reality is the threat of corruption exists in all sports. It is something that we take very seriously and continuously educate our members about the risks and consequences involved.

Eaton believes raising prize money would be a start. “It’s part of the solution,” he said. “It does protect a sport or a business better by paying people properly. Look at referees for instance, in Fifa. They are paying a referee $5,000 for an international match. Come on. $5,000, really? These people [referees, umpires] are in control of the outcome, particularly in football and in tennis, they’re in control of the outcome. Really, if anyone has to has this evangelical desire to make it right, it should be them, so pay them right so they can do that and live correctly.”

The proliferation of matches streamed live over the internet, often by betting companies, has opened up a world of options for criminals. For example, deliberately losing one particular game in a match without winning a point might not seem a big deal to a naive player, but illegal gamblers can earn fortunes if they include that particular bet in an accumulator.

The act of “courtsiding”, when individuals send data from a match to companies or gamblers to beat the natural time delay before the live scores appear, is another problem, according to Eaton.

“They’re cheating,” he said. “Anywhere where you have foreknowledge of an outcome to bet on, it’s called insider trading. You won’t let banks do it, you won’t let the share market do it, why are you letting these gambling organisations send courtsiders to give a three-second, five-second advantage to a gambler. In a normal morality test, it’s straight-out cheating.”

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Post by noleisthebest on Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:30 pm

Interesting article!
I read something this morning that confirms exactly what you said, Romanian tennis player Copil was offered £300000 just to lose one set in Miami!
He reported it straight away and ended up receiving death threats.
It is very dangerous and something needs to be done asap.

http://www.tennisworldusa.org/Marius-Copil-I-received-death-threats-to-lose-a-set-and-I-don%60t-like-Sharapova%60s-body-articolo21412.html

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Post by noleisthebest on Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:55 pm

It may sound odd, but I am more worried about doping than match-fixing/betting in tennis.
I agree prize money is low, but it's simple law of demand and supply.
ATP either agrees to subsidise Challengers circuit, or just let it be as it is.
Let's be honest, ATP is already corrupted to their eyeballs with draw-fixing, umpires turning a blind eye on rule breaking...

I can't quite say this is a smoke-screen, because organised crime is bad news full stop, somehow...I wish they were as eager about what goes on behind the scenes of The Show.


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Post by Tenez on Thu Nov 27, 2014 5:05 pm

yes I am also much more worried by doping AND draw fixing than match fixing.

Someone who can win a tournament is unlikely to be tank it for money reason. Those guys, at the top, work extremely hard to get there so if they can go to very top, I doubt they will risk it to earn money similar or probably less than they woudl by winning the whole thing.

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