Further expansion for TIU as new staff recruited for investigative and educational roles

The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) is set for further expansion with recruitment of two new investigators and an education manager.

The new investigators, Sarah Hamlet and Lacksley Harris, will join the existing London-based team this month, while the education manager is a new role created to expand the scope of the current player and officials training program.

The new recruits will increase TIU’s operational team to ten people, which represents a doubling of total staff numbers since the start of 2016 (an investigator and data analyst joined in April/May this year).

The expansion reflects a continuing increase in the workload of the TIU as well as a commitment to delivering more anti-corruption training throughout the sport. Over 25,000 individuals have already completed the TIU’s online education module, which is being updated for 2017.

Funding for the extra staffing was agreed with the Tennis Integrity Board (TIB), which consists of Philip Brook, AELTC Chairman, David Haggerty, President of the ITF, Chris Kermode, Executive Chairman and President of the ATP and Steve Simon, Chief Executive Officer of the WTA.

Match Alert Data: July to September 2016

During the third quarter of 2016, July to September inclusive, the TIU received a total of 96 match alerts through Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with regulators and betting organisations.

The increased figure, compared to quarters one and two, is a direct reflection of the substantial number of new MoUs established during 2016. One such agreement accounts for 47 of the total number of alerts for the quarter.

Total Match Alerts
Grand Slam
ATP Tour
WTA Tour
ATP Men's Challenger
ITF Men's Futures
ITF Women's
Hopman, Davis, Fed Cups
July - September 2016
96 2 0 0 31 54 9 0

Historically, Grand Slams receive very few match alerts and in keeping with that record, only two were received during the period; one at Wimbledon, the other at the US Open. Both are the subject of routine, confidential investigation by the TIU.

During the reporting period, 35,041 professional matches were played, with the 96 alerts featuring on 0.27% of those matches.

In 2015, 246 match alerts were received; the nine month total for 2016 now stands at 217.

TIU match alert policy

  • every alert is assessed and followed up as an indicator that something inappropriate may have happened. It is important to appreciate that an alert on its own is not evidence of match-fixing;
  • there are many reasons other than corrupt activity that can explain unusual betting patterns, such as incorrect odds-setting; well-informed betting; player fitness, fatigue and form; playing conditions and personal circumstances; and
  • where analysis of a match alert does suggest corrupt activity, the TIU will conduct a full investigation, in confidence.

TIU smartphone App available from Google and Apple

A new TIU App is now available for Apple and Android smartphones. Produced in six languages – English, Italian, French, Spanish, Russian and Chinese – it provides direct access to the player education program through the WTA and ATP Playerzones and ITF IPIN accounts. Anti-corruption rules and useful tips to understand them are also included, along with tennis news feeds from ESPN, CNN, Sky and BBC.

Player Sanctions and Appeals Update

Joshua Chetty: the 21-year old South African player was banned for life after being found guilty of match-fixing charges. Chetty admitted to approaching another player with financial inducements of $2,000 to underperform in a singles match, and $600 in a doubles match, during the ITF Futures F1 event in Stellenbosch, South Africa, in November 2015.

He is currently ranked 1,857 in singles, with a career-high of 1,370 in June 2015. Note, this decision was first announced on 28 September 2016.

Constant Lestienne: the 24-year old French player was banned for seven months (half of it suspended) and fined $10,000 ($5,000 considered paid contingent on co-operation with TIU) after admitting charges of betting on tennis. He bet on 220 tennis matches, but none in which he was involved. Note, this decision was first announced on 21 September 2016.

Court of Arbitration for Sport; decisions on separate appeals by Piotr Gadomski (Poland) and Alexandros Jakupovic (Greece) are now expected from CAS by the end of October.

Independent Review Panel website

The Independent Review Panel set up by the governing bodies of tennis to review all aspects of the sport’s anti-corruption protocols, structures and resources recently launched a website at www.tennisirp.com. The Panel expects to complete its Interim Report in the first quarter of 2017, which will be followed by a period of consultation. A Final Report will be published when that process has been completed. Enquiries to Tennis.IRP@crsblaw.com.

Next issue

The next issue of the TIU Briefing Note will be published in early January 2017. To be added to the circulation, contact Mark Harrison at mark.harrison@tennisintegrityunit.com

Published 05 October 2016 13:33

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