Spanish authorities arrest 28 tennis players in match-fixing probe

Heather Diaz
January 13, 2019

Spanish police are leading an investigation into match-fixing in tennis, with 83 people suspected of being involved in the ring.

The police raided 11 houses and seized 5 luxury vehicles along with weapons, jewelry, electronic devices, credit cards, and Euro 167,000.

Police say 15 people were arrested, including some of the tennis players, after 11 houses were raided.

"In total 83 suspects were arrested, 28 of them are professional players", it added.

The investigation was triggered in 2017 when the worldwide anti-corruption group, the Tennis Integrity Unit, complained about irregular activities related to pre-arranged matches in the ITF Futures and Challenger tournaments.

Police are also investigating what they suspect are strong links between some of the suspects arrested in Spain and an Armenian-Belgian crime gang broken up by Belgium police past year, also suspected of fixing tennis matches.

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Tennis may not be the first sport that comes to mind for sports fixing. The investigation was coordinated by Spain's National Court, the statement said. "They then gave the order for bets to be laid both nationally and internationally", continued the statement.

Professional tennis' anti-corruption body previous year complained about irregular activities at games, including prearranged matches, at the lower-tier ITF Futures and Challenger tournaments.

Police are also investigating what they suspect are strong links between some of the suspects arrested in Spain and an Armenian-Belgian crime gang broken up by Belgian police previous year, also suspected of fixing tennis matches. Law enforcement began to investigate a Spanish player, which led to the Armenian group.

"They would rig matches in order to place multiple and simultaneous bets on a national and global level", the Civil Guard said in a statement.

The Armenian gang bribed players into fixing matches, according to authorities.

A report published last month by an Independent Review Panel recommended there be no live streaming or scoring data offered during games in the lower tiers of the sport.

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