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Published: 10:02 | 18/1/16

Kermode rejects match-fixing claims

ATP react to BBC and BuzzFeed report

ATP Tour executive chairman Chris Kermode has rejected suggestions that alleged match fixing in tennis has been covered up or not thoroughly investigated by the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU).

An investigative report conducted by the BBC and BuzzFeed news, which was released on Sunday night, alleged that sixteen players ranked in the Top 50 of the World have been repeatedly flagged to the TIU over suspicions of match fixing.

The BBC and BuzzFeed claim they have received files which show that numerous players, including the winners of unnamed Grand Slam titles, were allowed to continue playing, despite being reported to the TIU on numerous occasions.

The report states that despite an increasing amount of evidence of suspicious activity surrounding a number of top players, no action was taken and the investigation into the wrong doing was shelved.

However, Kermode has insisted that all allegations are investigated thoroughly by the association.

"In response to match fixing allegations aired on BBC News and BuzzFeed online, the four governing bodies of tennis (ATP, WTA, Grand Slam Board, ITF) who are partners in the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU), said today that there is a zero-tolerance approach to all aspects of corruption and that they are and will continue to be firmly committed to protecting the integrity of the sport," read a statement on the ATP's official website.

Kermode remains adamant that the TIU is committed to meeting the challenge of match-fixing in the sport.

"Tennis remains fully committed to meeting the challenge that all sports face from corrupt betting practices.

"We have stringent procedures and sanctions in place to deal with any suspected corruption and have shown we will act decisively when our integrity rules are broken.

"No player or official is immune from investigation, regardless of their status or position in the sport. Investigations follow where evidence leads.

"All professional players, support staff and officials are subject to the terms of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program which equips the TIU with substantial investigative powers. These include the right to interview any relevant person of interest and obtain their telephone, computer and bank records.

"No player or official is ever cleared by the TIU of potential involvement in corruption. By its very nature, corruption is difficult to prove, so while the process can often be lengthy, the TIU will continue to pursue evidence where it believes it is warranted."

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