Article: Wimbledon on high alert over suspected match-fixing rings [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Article: Wimbledon on high alert over suspected match-fixing rings

shotgun
06-18-2009, 01:57 PM
http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/tennis/exclusive-wimbledon-on-high-alert-over-suspected-matchfixing-rings-1707744.html

Exclusive: Wimbledon on high alert over suspected match-fixing rings

Up to 12 players feature on official 'watch list' following betting irregularities

By Nick Harris

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Ahead of Wimbledon, which begins on Monday, the revelations add weight to growing fears within the sport and the gambling industry that major tennis tournaments are being targeted by match-fixers

Between six and 12 players due to compete in the men's singles at Wimbledon are on a "watch list" of individuals under scrutiny by the game's authorities because of past involvement in matches where suspicious betting happened and match-fixing was suspected. The revelation comes from an investigation by The Independent into corruption in tennis, and into the methods that the authorities, including the world men's governing body, the ATP, are using to stamp it out.

The Independent understands the full "watch list" includes Russians, Argentines, Italians, Spaniards and players of other nationalities, including men from inside the top 50 as well as those at the lower reaches of the game.

A senior source said: "We have interests in the activities of certain players and there are players whose matches we follow closely. It would be ludicrous to think, with so much money involved in betting, that there is no malpractice. A few of [the players being watched] aren't the ones you'd necessarily suspect while others who've had unjustified rumours trotted out about them are not of concern."

The investigation has discovered that the ATP knows the identities of a group of big-time gamblers, in Russia in particular and also in Italy, who have wagered on "suspicious" games. Details of the only time a match-fixing allegation has been aired in court have also surfaced and are revealed today, along with information on how the ATP failed to provide records that might have helped the prosecution.

The top-level source said one challenge in fighting corruption is "sifting self-perpetuating gossip from hard evidence of corruption". Another is stopping the use of "inside information" where "a privileged few profit for financial gain".

Then there is the challenge of catching "the small minority" whom the authorities believe are actively corrupt. The source said: "It's stupid to say there aren't some players tempted by what they're being offered to fix matches."

Ahead of Wimbledon, which begins on Monday, these revelations add weight to the growing fears within the sport and the gambling industry that major tennis tournaments are being targeted – successfully in some cases – by match-fixers. A wide range of gambling industry sources say there have been "ongoing concerns" about tennis.

An investigation is underway into Monday's first-round match between Spain's Oscar Hernandez and Austria's Daniel Koellerer at the Ordina Open in the Netherlands, after "unusual" bets on Hernandez, who won. The Independent can reveal a 29-year-old male Russian spectator was arrested yesterday at that tournament for gambling on a laptop courtside, which is forbidden.

The Independent has also learnt that a match in Kitzbühel, Austria, last month, was flagged up to the ATP as "of concern". There was also irregular betting on at least one match at the Monte Carlo Masters in April. France's Jean-René Lisnard's first-round win, 6-2, 6-2, over Belgium's Christophe Rochus led to non-payment of bets by some bookies.

That match was referred to the Gambling Commission (the industry watchdog), as well as to the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU), tennis's in-house crime-stopping team.

The head of the TIU is Jeff Rees, a respected detective who served in the Metropolitan Police for 32 years and who earned his reputation as a leading sports integrity expert working in cricket's anti-corruption unit. It was Rees and his fellow integrity expert, Ben Gunn, who authored tennis's Environmental Review of Integrity in Professional Tennis, published in May last year, which recommended the formation of the TIU.

The Independent put its findings to the man at the top of men's tennis, Adam Helfant, the ATP's executive chairman and president. In response, the ATP released a statement: "Since January 2008 the ATP, Grand Slams, ITF and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour have had a Tennis Integrity Unit led by Jeff Rees. All related matters are dealt with by his unit and we don't intend to comment on any allegations or media stories."

The Independent put a series of questions to Rees about tennis integrity and TIU's work to which he declined to comment.

Those questions included asking what has happened to investigations into 45 matches that Rees's Review said, almost 14 months ago, had caused "specific concerns from a betting perspective". The Independent has been told by an impeccable source: "The findings might never be made public."

The May 2008 Review said tennis's authorities knew about suspicious betting activity by 27 Betfair account holders in two countries. The Independent can reveal today those countries were Russia and Italy, and that three Russia-based account holders in particular placed enormous sums on the infamous match between Russia's Nikolay Davydenko and Argentina's Martin Vassallo Arguello in Sopot, Poland, in August 2007.

Betfair alone took more than $7m in bets (£3.4m) on that match, or 10 times normal levels. Davydenko was No 5 in the world and should have been hot favourite against Arguello, then No 87.

But Davydenko was the underdog on Betfair, and despite that, one Russian Betfair customer, "Djults", wagered $540,942 on Arguello before the match, and then more when Davydenko was one set ahead.

A second customer, "Sgenia", bet $368,036 on Arguello to win, even when he was a set down. The gamblers were behaving as if certain that Arguello, even while losing, would win.

A third customer, "Ruster", had held a Betfair account since 2005 and had averaged $800 per bet until that match. Then he bet $253,833 at odds as short as 1-11 on Arguello. Davydenko subsequently retired, injured, in the third set, making Arguello the winner. Betfair took the unprecedented step of voiding the market.

Both players have always denied any wrongdoing. Contrary to popular belief, nobody was ever charged with any misdemeanour. An ATP investigation, which failed to gain access to some phone records, concluded last September with a carefully worded statement that said: "The ATP has now exhausted all avenues of enquiry open to it."

philosophicalarf
06-18-2009, 02:06 PM
Duh, it's not slams where this is an issue, the prize money and points available for advancing take care of that. It's smaller events, where getting to a 2nd round is worth near nothing, but it's still possible to get massive amounts of money on one side.

GlennMirnyi
06-18-2009, 02:32 PM
Bloomfield vs Berlocq Wimbledon 2007 I think... Don't tell me there's no match fixing in slams.

Also, I hope all fixers are banished from the sport.

out_here_grindin
06-18-2009, 02:35 PM
Do you know how many players would love the opportunity to play in ATP events and in grand slams that don't get the chance. and then these fixers do have the chance and they fix. Ban them and give some players who actually want to compete a chance.

mitalidas
06-18-2009, 03:59 PM
That's sick. The evidence on the Davydenko match is incredible-- how can he possibly be not involved?

philosophicalarf
06-18-2009, 04:04 PM
Bloomfield vs Berlocq Wimbledon 2007 I think... Don't tell me there's no match fixing in slams.


Not none, but a hell of a lot less. Maybe every second atp250 on average you'll see a fix in there somewhere.

Mint Chip
06-18-2009, 04:08 PM
I guess Davydenko can't crash out in the first rd again.

Goldenoldie
06-18-2009, 04:11 PM
This is unreal. I suppose every tank and every injury will now come under scrutiny.

dijus
06-18-2009, 04:35 PM
Betfair alone took more than $7m in bets (L3.4m) on that match, or 10 times normal levels. Davydenko was No 5 in the world and should have been hot favourite against Arguello, then No 87.

But Davydenko was the underdog on Betfair, and despite that, one Russian Betfair customer, "Djults", wagered $540,942 on Arguello before the match, and then more when Davydenko was one set ahead.

interesting

Johnny Groove
06-18-2009, 04:50 PM
Its simple.

The tournaments just need to offer more money for a first round win at a 250 event than the gamblers can persuade the player to fix it with.

If a player earns more money winning than fixing, the threat is no longer there.

philosophicalarf
06-18-2009, 04:55 PM
Its simple.

The tournaments just need to offer more money for a first round win at a 250 event than the gamblers can persuade the player to fix it with.


True, and also never going to happen, unfortunately. They'd go broke.

dijus
06-18-2009, 04:56 PM
Its simple.

The tournaments just need to offer more money for a first round win at a 250 event than the gamblers can persuade the player to fix it with.

If a player earns more money winning than fixing, the threat is no longer there.

simple? what do you expect man? 100k for winning 1 match? Anyway, 100k could be not enough as well

Johnny Groove
06-18-2009, 05:01 PM
True, and also never going to happen, unfortunately. They'd go broke.

simple? what do you expect man? 100k for winning 1 match? Anyway, 100k could be not enough as well

If 100k is being bet on every fix, then yeah, nothing can be done.

But surely that amount of money isn't being bet on every fix?

rocketassist
06-18-2009, 05:01 PM
The ATP haven't the balls to punish fixers, simple as that. They investigate matches then leave them to be.

PMK v Vassallo was the only match where they have probed extensively and created a trial by media.

The likes of Pashanski, Koellerer and Volandri don't even get probes at all even though they blatantly fix matches at MM events.

dijus
06-18-2009, 05:04 PM
If 100k is being bet on every fix, then yeah, nothing can be done.

But surely that amount of money isn't being bet on every fix?

noone would risk anything for 1000$ man

philosophicalarf
06-18-2009, 05:05 PM
Have to catch them with a media sting operation. Get a British Sunday newspaper, or one of the Italian/French/Spanish sports newpsapers involved. Then publish, and voila, ATP will have to ban them.

After all, it's well known who's involved, just need to catch em red-handed.

timafi
06-18-2009, 06:38 PM
not again:mad:

Lebeuf
06-18-2009, 09:06 PM
who cares about that if it's not the top players.
That's why the Davydenko ''story'' is disgusting if true.
I think we can be sure Nadal or Federer never did that.

malisha
06-18-2009, 09:15 PM
thanks for the story @Shotgun

dijus
06-18-2009, 09:30 PM
who cares about that if it's not the top players.
That's why the Davydenko ''story'' is disgusting if true.
I think we can be sure Nadal or Federer never did that.

you used irony here, didn't you?:o

case
06-18-2009, 09:35 PM
what hypocrisy -
they banned gasquet for less proof then they have on fixing.

it's all showbiz.

bjurra
06-18-2009, 11:50 PM
what hypocrisy -
they banned gasquet for less proof then they have on fixing.

it's all showbiz.

They dont have any proof of fixing. Just strong indicators.

pray-for-palestine-and-israel
06-19-2009, 12:05 AM
Everyone knows its going on and no one can stop it

i guess the ATP has to shoulder some of the blame, they need to really be strict with anyone caught fixing a match

life time ban- it seems harsh but, its worthwhile, there are people out there who would bite off the ATP's hand to be able to play any tourney

Action Jackson
06-19-2009, 03:23 AM
The smart ones aren't going to get caught, it's not like they are going to use their own accounts for any benefits of fixing matches.

The ATP suspend players for betting ice cream money, but it would require a lot more effort for them to catch them and at the same time, they have to be able to prove without any shadow of a doubt, what has gone on, if they can't, then any good lawyer will get them off any charges.

Suspend betting on matches where there are known suspect players.

boughtmypoints
06-19-2009, 05:19 PM
Koellerer got away with his antics in Johannesburg, right? Absolutely showing no effort in his tank. Supervisor courtside. They just let him play it out without warnings.
Not saying it was a fix but it establishes a pattern of plausible deniability.

ad-out
06-23-2009, 08:33 PM
The investigation has discovered that the ATP knows the identities of a group of big-time gamblers, in Russia in particular and also in Italy, who have wagered on "suspicious" games. Details of the only time a match-fixing allegation has been aired in court have also surfaced and are revealed today, along with information on how the ATP failed to provide records that might have helped the prosecution.

OK.. Maybe this is the reason behind Marat's loss today.. :haha:

At least this would be a better excuse than just flat out losing to Levine!

paseo
06-24-2009, 11:02 AM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/tennis/article-1195117/Wimbledon-betting-probe-Extreme-385-000-gamble-sparks-investigation.html


Wimbledon betting probe: 'Extreme' £385,000 gamble sparks investigation

By Mike Dickson and Alex Kay

Last updated at 1:18 AM on 24th June 2009


Reporting what they termed 'extreme' gambles on a relatively obscure encounter, they were alerted by a dramatic hardening of the odds in favour of Melzer before and during the match.

Paddy Power and Ladbrokes were among other companies who stopped taking bets more than an hour before the match started as money piled in on the Austrian to win in three sets.

Two hours before the match £365,000 had already been placed on Betfair backing Melzer, the vast majority wagering he would win in straight sets. Comparable contests in the first round were barely attracting £10,000.

The alarm bells started ringing early yesterday morning when large cash bets were reported in shops around the London area.

A Betfair spokesman said: 'He was backed from even money to 1-5 to win 3-0 in sets, which represents an extreme gamble.'

A Paddy Power spokesman said: 'What was unusual was the amount bet on a 3-0 result. We decided to pull the plug.'

Last night Odesnik, 23, the world 109, looked shocked when informed by the press that he was under suspicion.

'I have no idea about this,' he said. 'I don't know why someone would bet for me to lose. This was my first tournament on grass this season.

'Yesterday, I had a little bit of a strain in my thigh but it was not a question of not being able to play. I ran for a ball in the match and tweaked it a little more.' Odesnik said he was unaware of anyone knowing of his injury, adding: 'I would never do anything to jeopardise my future.'

The Tennis Integrity Unit would have been informed under a memorandum of understanding they have with Betfair to ensure betting markets remain uncorrupted.

Last night the International Tennis Federation refused to comment, saying that they would not wish to prejudice any inquiry.


I would predict melzer to win in 3 straight sets over odesnik, most of the time.
IMHO, maybe the betting companies just don't like losing money. that's why they "spark investigations".

Action Jackson
06-24-2009, 11:05 AM
Odesnik hates grass, picking Melzer to beat Odesnik in 3 on grass makes sense.

BodyServe
06-24-2009, 11:06 AM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/tennis/article-1195117/Wimbledon-betting-probe-Extreme-385-000-gamble-sparks-investigation.html



I would predict melzer to win in 3 straight sets over odesnik, most of the time.
IMHO, maybe the betting companies just don't like losing money. that's why they "spark investigations".

Yeah Betfair doesn't like to lose money :rolleyes:

Betfair isn't your typical bookie.

pesto
06-24-2009, 11:10 AM
Same story here: http://www.live-tennis.com/category/Tennis-News/Suspicious-betting-patterns-reported-at-Wimbledon-200906240027/

Hmmm. Don't like the way these stories come out before an investigation is made, thus casting a possibly unfair cloud over the remainder of Melzer's Wimbledon.

rhinooooo
06-24-2009, 11:11 AM
Typical that they'd pick a match that was obviously not dodgy at all.

They should investigate the Andreev/Korolev match. Some dodgy prices that kept Igor a fave despite being a set and break down.

philosophicalarf
06-24-2009, 11:14 AM
Odesnik hates grass, picking Melzer to beat Odesnik in 3 on grass makes sense.

Yup, that's why starting odds were Melzer 1.30, and the 3-0 score was 2.0 (both about right). At the time of match start they were 1.04 and 1.10 respectively, about what you got for Federer vs Lu. Most books had pulled the market though, cos all the money went on one side - Betfair stats showed 99.7% of all correct score betting went on the 3-0, and about 10x the normal traded.

the graduate
06-24-2009, 11:15 AM
with the WTA almost Russian I see the Russian mafia interfering with matches,in a few years WTA will be taken over by the mafia and betting syndicates.I think WTA should vet the players they allow to join the tour,its now being controlled by other sinister sources.

Deivid23
06-24-2009, 11:29 AM
Odesnik hates grass, picking Melzer to beat Odesnik in 3 on grass makes sense.

Not at 1/5 odds. Clear example either of Odesnik letting some people know he was going to throw that match to lose in 3, or he was offered money to do that

Action Jackson
06-24-2009, 11:37 AM
Not at 1/5 odds. Clear example either of Odesnik letting some people know he was going to throw that match to lose in 3, or he was offered money to do that

Nothing will come of it, as they won't be able to prove this was rigged.

R.Federer
06-24-2009, 12:12 PM
Nothing will come of it, as they won't be able to prove this was rigged.

You are right that they won't be able to prove anything. They weren't able to prove with even worse signs.

But it is fishy for these two reasons:
1. Comparable contests in the first round were barely attracting £10,000, while £365,000 had already been placed on backing Melzer.
2. and the rapid change in odds: "He was backed from even money to 1-5 to win 3-0 in sets" (it sounds like that came in the last two hours, although can't be sure)

Bargearse
06-24-2009, 01:32 PM
I've heard the Russians can be 'quite persuasive' when they want something. Perhaps Davydenko has been approached or threatened?

Bargearse
06-24-2009, 01:34 PM
with the WTA almost Russian I see the Russian mafia interfering with matches,in a few years WTA will be taken over by the mafia and betting syndicates.I think WTA should vet the players they allow to join the tour,its now being controlled by other sinister sources.

yes, you could be on to something. I know a guy who works for a syndicate placing bets.... err...

the graduate
06-25-2009, 01:12 AM
I've heard the Russians can be 'quite persuasive' when they want something. Perhaps Davydenko has been approached or threatened?since then he has never been the same:rolleyes:chakvatadze also...maybe they are sponsoring the russian girls in tennis its not looking good for especially women tennis soon they will be asking the girls to throw matches.

dam0dred
06-25-2009, 02:02 AM
Yeah even the New York Times is reporting the Odesnik story. Seems ridiculous to me, that is a perfectly reasonable scoreline for that matchup.

GlennMirnyi
06-25-2009, 02:13 AM
Yeah even the New York Times is reporting the Odesnik story. Seems ridiculous to me, that is a perfectly reasonable scoreline for that matchup.

The problem isn't the score.

The problem is the amount of money involved and the odds drift.

dam0dred
06-25-2009, 06:02 AM
The NYT story says that Odesnik was injured in some fashion... maybe that information leaked. I dunno, the fact that there was an aberration in the amount of money involved alone isn't enough to convince me there was foul play on the part of the athletes.

HKz
06-25-2009, 06:08 AM
Damn it, I always knew Federer and Nadal's matches from last year's Wimbledon and this year's Australian were rigged.

Deivid23
06-25-2009, 06:09 AM
The NYT story says that Odesnik was injured in some fashion... maybe that information leaked. I dunno, the fact that there was an aberration in the amount of money involved alone isn't enough to convince me there was foul play on the part of the athletes.

keep living in dreamland