ITIA receives 11 suspicious tennis betting reports during Q2

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Tennis’ integrity body, the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) received a total of 11 suspicious betting alerts from operators during the second quarter of 2020, less than half of the number in Q1.

In Q1, 23 matches were flagged. With major tennis events across the globe suspended throughout Q2 of 2020, year-on-year comparisons were not available.

Of the 11 alerts, two came from ATP 250 events, part of the main tour of men’s tennis. A further alert came from an M25 men’s ITF match, as well as four from ITF M15 matches.

In the women’s game, one alert came from a W15 ITF match and three from W25 matches.

No alerts came from WTA main tour events, ATP matches at the 500 or Masters level or any matches at the French Open, the only Grand Slam event during the quarter.

The ITIA said it was important to remember that alerts are not necessarily evidence of match fixing, but rather just represent evidence that “something inappropriate may have happened”.

“Unusual betting patterns can occur for many reasons other than match fixing – for example incorrect odds-setting; well-informed betting; player fitness, fatigue or form; playing conditions and personal circumstances,” it said.

During the quarter, the ITIA also banned four players for betting or match-fixing offences. In April, the body issued Slovakian tennis player Barbora Palcatova with a three-year ban from the sport. It then banned Argentinian player Franco Feitt for life after he admitted to nine incidents of match fixing.

In May, Roman Khassanov received a 10-year ban after admitting to several instances of match-fixing, and later that month three Belgian tennis players were provisionally suspended following a criminal investigation.

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