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Earlier they were murderers on the track – now tennis swindlers

A fence is provided at the top with barbed wire surrounded the vast property of the Bank of England Sports Centre in Roehampton. On the inner side football fields, Tennis courts and other sport courts, as well as a large, nice brick building with a clock tower to be found. The Idyll is only disturbed by the low flying Jets, the most of London's main drive to Heathrow airport. Here, then, is the seat of the tennis world ITF, and here also the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) is at home, what are the betting fraud and, in General, to combat corruption.

With sports betting is to be a three-digit billion amount is implemented. As in the Wimbledon Final 2012, Andy Murray, Roger Federer met, were placed in "Betfair" betting for the equivalent of approximately 74 million Swiss francs. Where such cash flows, cheaters are not far away. Tennis for bribes outright, because a single Person can affect the action significantly.

entry of a secret number,

The target was clear: The Photographing or filming of the infrastructure and the employees is prohibited. The visit to the TIU would be for information purposes only. "Discretion is for the integrity of our processes," explains head of communications Mark Harrison. To write from a high security prison would be an exaggeration. But on the way to the TIU must pass by a receptionist-operated glass door on the third floor in front of the corridor, a Code entered, and finally in front of the entrance to the office once a secret number to be typed. The photo ban is irrelevant, it looks at the TIU as in most other open-plan offices: The employees to look all concentrated in your screens.

"corruption is not scientific, therefore we need to collect a lot of clues and evidence."Mark Harrison, head of communication at TIU

21 persons are hired; the Team is composed for the training of players, coaches and tournament staff, competent educators, intelligence specialists who manage information and forensic data analyses to be performed, as well as investigators with experience in law enforcement. "Corruption is not scientific, therefore we need to collect a lot of clues and evidence," Harrison says. Investigations usually begin with a tip or an Alarm of a betting provider, in the case of the statistical irregularities have occurred. Often there are suspicious incidents, but in the end, plausible explanations, told Harrison: "tennis players are not machines that are always in your best performance."

Cheat to lose without

Simply the mission of the TIU is not, because it is often manipulated to tournaments, the lowest rung. There are no witnesses and no TV recordings. And Harrison gives another important reason why it is difficult for fraudsters to get to the bottom of this: "As a player you can cheat to lose the Match." Players are offered of Criminals, for example, the first set with a certain result, or to concede the first Break, or to produce the first double-fault. Because such events can be set.

"Our people have been murderers, rapists, and kidnappers interviewed; they sense whether someone is telling the truth."Mark Harrison, head of communication at TIU

The TIU investigators, social media, lead data analyses and surveys. "Our people have been murderers, rapists, and kidnappers are being interviewed; you will feel usually, if someone is telling the truth," says Harrison. The TIU makes a quasi-police work, but has no law enforcement authority. You can't force the surrender of Bank data and technical devices, but for the non-Cooperation after all, Express Block. Issues can you. only people from the tennis community, but not the men behind the Therefore, it cooperates with authorities. The TIU was stood at the origin of the investigation that led to the Spanish police took the beginning of the year, together with Europol 83 people. It was an Armenian gang, which tennis players bribed with stolen identities had a bet.

Chilling effect

The cases in which can conclude, with a Budget of just 6 million Swiss francs, operating Team from Roehampton, are less spectacular, especially since the victims are mostly to be found in the Depths of the Rankings. There are Blocking and buses pronounced, because the players manipulated the course of a game, tennis match bet, or attempts at bribery have not been reported. It also referees were withdrawn from circulation, and once a Coach has been prosecuted, who had traded with Wildcards.

although these cases rarely make headlines, is the work of the TIU for the integrity of tennis is important, and it appears to be daunting: for Years, the number of suspicious matches had been relatively constant (between 241 and 292). However, in the first nine months of 2019, only 95 was knocked-time Alarm. Nevertheless, Harrison warns: "It is constant vigilance is still required, especially since other indicators show a continuing threat of corruption." Concrete, he is not. Confidentiality and discretion are key factors.

Created: 14.11.2019, 11:41 PM

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