Dozens may face tennis player bet probe

Published by Reuters

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More than two dozen players who feature in evidence collected from gamblers should be investigated for possible links to betting rings, according to an Italian prosecutor.

Roberto di Martino told the BBC and BuzzFeed News that he had collected internet chat logs and telephone conversations between players and gamblers as part of a two-year probe into a suspected match-fixing ring involving Italian players.

Italian duo Potito Starace and Daniele Bracciali have already been charged. Both deny any wrongdoing and will appear in court in May.

Di Martino said the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) should probe the other players for possible betting links.

“Surely if these foreign players were Italian, they would certainly have been at least questioned,” Di Martino said.

“They should have provided some explanations.”

Tennis is already reeling from revelations in a report by the BBC and BuzzFeed in January that 16 players, who have been ranked in the top 50, had been repeatedly flagged to the TIU over concerns they had thrown matches.

The allegations were further fuelled by former Australian professional Nick Lindahl pleading guilty in January to match-fixing in a minor tournament in 2013.

Di Martino suspected more than 30 matches, including some at Wimbledon and the French Open, might have been corrupted.

“Interestingly, they are not so-called second-tier tennis players, but also players of some importance,” he said.

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