An independent review into possible corruption in tennis has concluded the sport faces a "serious integrity problem", with the issue described as "particularly acute and pervasive" at lower-level events.
The four organisations principally responsible for the governance of professional tennis - the ATP, WTA, ITF and Grand Slam Board - appointed an independent review panel in early 2016 to address betting-related and other integrity issues facing the sport, after BuzzFeed and the BBC claimed to have uncovered evidence of suspected match-fixing through a joint investigation.
On Wednesday, the panel, led by Adam Lewis QC, released an interim report and revealed they had found no evidence that the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) had acted to cover up breaches of integrity.
The panel also wrote: "While no level of professional tennis appears to be immune from integrity-related concerns, the available evidence further suggests that integrity issues have not reached a significant level at grand slam events, ATP or WTA Tour events, WTA $125k events, or ITF women's $60k and $100k events."
Nevertheless, it added: "Today, tennis faces a serious integrity problem. The advent of online betting and the sale of official live scoring data have greatly exacerbated the problem.
"The empirical evidence available to the panel – including betting data, player interviews, and the panel's player survey – demonstrates that while no level of professional tennis is immune from betting-related and other breaches of integrity, the problem is particularly acute and pervasive at the lower levels ... and at the middle levels of the sport, especially on the men's circuits.
"The panel assesses the problem at those levels to be very significant. A TIU investigator described the extent of the problem at some lower-level events as a 'tsunami'.
"The evidence reviewed by the panel has not revealed a widespread problem at higher levels of professional tennis, although there is nonetheless evidence of some issues at these levels."
The panel adds that its sources "generally point to the unsurprising conclusion that the integrity problems in tennis are greatest where prize money relative to costs, prospects of advancement, public interest and attention, and financial resources of tournaments are lowest."
Several recommendations have been made by the panel, including a discontinuation of the sale of official live scoring data "at least for ITF $15k and $25k Pro Circuit events [the lowest levels of the sport]", and the "elimination of betting sponsorships from tennis".
In a joint statement, the ATP, WTA, ITF and Grand Slam Board announced their agreement with the findings of the panel's report.
The governing bodies added: "We are pleased with the panel's findings that they have seen no evidence of any institutional corruption or cover-up by the tennis authorities or the Tennis Integrity Unit."
17. August 2018
|Dragons´ Widdop set for Finals return|
|Jamshed found guilty of corruption and banned for 10 years|
|Bennett will not be sacked, insist Broncos|
|Marchisio leaves Juventus|
|The Breakdown: A statistical look at round one of the Rugby Championship|
|Durham sign Bancroft for 2019|
|Wolfsburg to fine Hinds after training no-show|
|Rugby Championship 2018: Team-by-team guide|
|LaLiga 2018-19: Atletico Madrid ready for another title push|
|The big Friday Premier League quiz|
|Mets set franchise record in 20-run victory|
|Poyet threatens to quit after Bordeaux sell Laborde|
|Keys hits 55 winners en route to QFs, Halep claims rain-interrupted match|
|Djokovic-Dimitrov poised as rain wreaks havoc, Del Potro through|
|Tolisso: Pavard to Bayern? I don´t know|
|Ramos: Real Madrid will win again|
|Eagles QB Nick Foles suffers shoulder strain|
|Man City want to dominate English football, warns Walker|
|Golf behind Timberwolves´ draft mishap in 2009? Curry thinks so|
|Puig suspended, Hundley fined for starting Dodgers-Giants brawl|
|Snedeker leads Wyndham Championship with stunning 59|
|Yankees slugger Judge ´frustrated´ with wrist injury|
|Marlins pitcher Urena handed six-game ban for intentionally hitting Acuna|
|Pochettino expects ´toughest season´ yet at Tottenham|
|´You know you are not employing the Pope´ - Diamond has sympathy for Cipriani|
|Khedira still committed to Germany|
16. August 2018
|Serena Williams reveals what shook her before worst loss of career|
|Burnley 1 Istanbul Basaksehir 0 (after extra time): Cork cracker sends Burnley through|
|Zenit hit eight in extraordinary Europa League fightback|
|Saints get back to winning ways at Wakefield|
|Giants medical team discovered tumour in Brittan Golden´s mouth|
|Maribor 0 Rangers 0: Gerrard´s men book play-off berth with calm clean sheet|
|Sassuolo reel in Marlon from Barcelona|
|Formula One ´very poor´, says Alonso after quitting|
|Brighton to host Southampton in EFL Cup second round|
|Tiger Woods´ caddie tried to pay heckler to leave Firestone|
|Sordet leads Nordea Masters, Olesen overcomes flight woes|
|Mourinho visits Istanbul Basaksehir before Burnley game|
|Iniesta hails ´worldwide sports legend´ Alonso|
|Onus on Ozil to rise above criticism, says ex-Arsenal star Wright|
|Lahm to head Euro 2024 if Germany wins bid|
|Tennis Australia ´extremely disappointed´ with Davis Cup revamp|
|Snedeker shoots 59 at Wyndham, after bogeying his first hole!|
|Lukaku hints at Belgium retirement after Euro 2020|
|Pellegrini rules out West Ham approach for Toure|
|Association of Spanish Footballers fumes at LaLiga´s US agreement|
|Seibold and Bennett hit out at media speculation|
|Cipriani ´truly sorry´ after pleading guilty to common assault|
|Man City´s Roberts makes Girona loan move|
|Davis Cup revamp passed by two-thirds majority vote|
|Pochettino ready to tackle Man City after Wembley NFL|
|Emery ends Arsenal goalkeeper debate with Cech assurance|
|Shastri: India happy to face Stokes in Nottingham|
|Etzebeth returns for Springboks, Pumas include Figallo|
|Two Serie A matches postponed after Genoa bridge collapse|
|Barrett tight-lipped over Manly future due to ´legal reasons´|
|N´Zonzi is better than Malcom - Monchi takes aim at Barca star|
|Sainz to replace Alonso at McLaren|
|Bayliss encourages Stokes to make public apology|
|Oates hat-trick boosts Broncos´ play-off ambitions|
|Emery needs four transfer windows to impact Arsenal – Wright|
|Spain´s LaLiga plans to play regular-season game in U.S.|
|´Dream come true´ for Robertson to earn Bledisloe Cup start|
|LaLiga match set for USA following groundbreaking Relevent deal|
|FIFA rankings: France number one, Croatia and England soar, Germany and Argentina plummet|
|Hansen hails ´big leader´ Whitelock ahead of 100th cap|
|Cipriani pleads guilty to common assault and resisting arrest|
|PSG snap up Kehrer from Schalke|
|Maitland-Niles facing two months out with broken leg|
|Walker backs City squad strength to overcome De Bruyne blow|