Tennis match-fixing row: Belgium detains 13 people | tennis | Hindustan Times
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Tennis match-fixing row: Belgium detains 13 people

Belgium has detained 13 people for suspected match-fixing in the lower ranks of professional tennis, mostly in rarely televised tournaments, such as the Futures and Challenger circuits.

tennis Updated: Jun 05, 2018 14:42 IST
Reuters, Brussels
A criminal organisation with ties to Belgium and Armenia has been bribing professional tennis players since 2014 to fix matches.
A criminal organisation with ties to Belgium and Armenia has been bribing professional tennis players since 2014 to fix matches.(Getty Images)

Belgium has detained 13 people in raids over an investigation into suspected match-fixing in the lower ranks of professional tennis, federal prosecutors said on Tuesday.

A criminal organisation with ties to Belgium and Armenia has been bribing professional tennis players since 2014 to fix matches, letting the criminals to rake in profits by placing bets, the prosecutors said.

The fixed matches were usually in lower-ranked, rarely televised tournaments, such as the Futures and Challenger circuits, when it was easier to bribe the players, prosecutors said.

Belgian investigators cooperated with counterparts in Germany, France, Bulgaria, Slovakia, the Netherlands and the United States in the investigation.

A judge would decide at a later stage whether those detained would be formally arrested, prosecutors added.

An independent report commissioned by the sport’s major bodies concluded in April that tennis faces “very significant” integrity problems caused by a sharp increase in internet betting.

The issues were greatest in the sport at the lower professional levels, where players had less to gain from winning bona fide matches and less to lose from getting caught, it said.