Tennis remains integrity body's chief concern

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Tennis remains integrity body's chief concern

ESSA, the sport integrity body, has announced that tennis accounted for the highest amount of suspicious betting alerts for the ninth consecutive quarter.

Of all the alerts issued during the first quarter of 2017, 45% of them concerned tennis. Football, meanwhile, was responsible for a little over 10% of reports.

ESSA also remarked that they had handled cases relating to volleyball, snooker, basketball, handball, boxing and ice hockey.

All of which said, the body remains optimistic that things might change once the International Tennis Federation publishes its report into match-fixing over the summer.

As ESSA chairman Mike O’Kane explains, ““The figures for Q1 follow a similar trend to previous reports; we know that tennis, in particular, has been working hard to address this situation and we await with interest the imminent publication of the Independent Review Panel’s interim report.

“It is a process that ESSA has engaged in and welcomed as an important step, and we hope that the Panel’s recommendations are both evidence-based and provide practical and proportionate actions.”

O’Kane also outlined ESSA’s work with the European Commission for whom the integrity body has been conducting a range of match-fixing studies.

“In addressing this issue at any level, there must be a clear understanding that well-regulated betting products, in themselves, neither create nor support match-fixing.

“That illicit activity is a result of corrupt sportspeople and criminals seeking to defraud betting operators.

“Those operators are the intended victims of that fraud and any mitigating actions will be best served acknowledging that.”

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