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World tennis hit by match-fixing reports

World tennis hit by match-fixing reports - Widespread suspected match-fixing exists at the top level of world tennis, including at Wimbledon, according to the reports by the BBC and online BuzzFeed News.

Over the last decade, 16 players ranked in the top 50 have been repeatedly flagged to the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU), which was set up to monitor the sport, over suspicions they have thrown matches.

The TIU either failed to act upon information that identified suspicious behavior amongst players or impose any sanctions. Moreover, all the players, including winners of Grand Slam titles, were allowed to continue competing, while 8 were playing in the Australian Open, according to the reports.

The BuzzFeed News and BBC said they had not named any players because without access to their bank, phone and computer records it was not possible to find out whether they took part in match-fixing.

The 2007 ATP inquiry found betting syndicates in northern Italy and Sicily and Russia making hundreds of thousands of pounds betting on games which investigators thought to be fixed.

According to the report, in a confidential report for tennis authorities in 2008, 28 players involved in those games should be investigated but the findings were never followed up.

Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) chairman, Chris Kermode, said TIU investigations had resulted in sanctions against 18 players, with 6 issued life bans.