Top 30 Player Involved In Tennis Betting Scandal: Reports
A generic shot of a tennis player’s shadow during the match.
More than 135 tennis players, including one ranked in the ATP top 30, are implicated in an international betting scandal, German media reported Sunday. According to a joint report by daily newspaper Die Welt and broadcaster ZDF, the players are subject to a cross-border investigation involving both the FBI and European authorities.
Among the individuals allegedly involved is a male player in the top 30 who has won three ATP tour titles, the report said.
“We are talking about an Armenian betting mafia network which is spread across seven countries in Europe and has manipulated on a large scale,” Belgian state prosecutor Eric Bisschop told ZDF.
He added the scandal involved hundreds of small bets on fixed games, wracking up profits of tens of thousands of euros in each case.
ZDF and Die Welt also spoke to Argentinian former player Marco Trungelliti, a whistleblower who claims to have been contacted by match-fixers.
“There are pros in the world top 50 who have fixed games. It happens at all levels,” Trungelliti said.
Armenian Mafia Arranged Tennis Match-fixing In 7 Countries
An investigation is currently probing a match-fixing scandal across seven countries, which involves the Armenian mafia.
According to major German news outlets ZDF and Welt, the investigation is based around an unnamed player who has three ATP titles to his name and is currently among the top 30 in the ATP rankings.
The statement given by Eric Bisschop, the deputy prosecutor of Belgium, suggests that a large-scale match-fixing operation has been going on for years, involving a large number of tennis players from seven European countries.
As per Bisschop, the players have been involved with Armenian mafia, which paid them to lose matches on which they bet millions of dollars.
“This is about the network of an Armenian betting mafia that has spread across seven countries in Europe,” said Bisschop.
The year-long investigation concluded that at least 135 players have received money from the betting syndicate.
Top Tennis Ace Among 135 Players Suspected In Massive Match-fixing Scam – Reports
A men’s tennis star in the world’s top 30 is among those suspected in a huge match-fixing investigation, according to reports in Germany. Investigators believe the scandal could involve around 135 players in total.
Reports by German news outlets ZDF and Die Welt at the weekend revealed that investigations are continuing into a “unique” betting scam supposedly orchestrated by an Armenia mafia group.
Die Welt reports that among the 135 players suspected of involvement is a German player as well as one tennis ace currently inside the ATP top 30 and who has won several titles on the tour.
Investigations have been proceeding for more than a year in countries including Belgium, Spain, France and the US, the outlet states.
“This is about the network of an Armenian betting mafia that has spread across seven countries in Europe and that has been highly intelligent and cheated on a large scale,” said Eric Bisschop, deputy prosecutor general in Belgium and an investigator involved in the case.
Argentine player Marco Trungelliti, who has previously blown the whistle on match-fixing to the ITF, said: “There are professionals in the top 50 in the world who have manipulated games. You cannot say that there is only cheating at lower levels, no, it happens at all levels.”
The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) has issued bans against more than 20 players, men and women, this year, Die Welt notes.
In January, police in Spain arrested 15 people as part of an investigation into match-fixing by an Armenian gang.
More than 80 people were implicated in the investigation, while one of those arrested was Spanish tennis player Marc Fornell-Mestres.
Tennis is seen as an attractive sport for betting scams due to the number of variables, from match results down to aspects such as aces and double faults.
Results from the current investigation are set to be announced in the next few months, Die Welt reported.