The Most Fixed Sport in Europe
Spanish authorities have arrested 15 people in connection with an international ring accused of fixing tennis matches which included the leaders of an Armenian gambling ring as well as 28 professional players. One of those even participated in last year’s U.S. Open. It may come as a surprise, but The European Sports Security Association, which tracks betting for bookmakers, has said tennis tops the list of sports linked to suspicious gambling.
As part of the crackdown, 11 houses were raided and police seized vehicles, firearms, credit cards, and 167,000 $191,000 in cash. Spanish player Marc Fornell-Mestres is accused of acting as the link between players and the Armenian ring that bribed them. No other names had been immediately disclosed by authorities.
This isn’t Mestres’ first run in with the law either. He was suspended from professional tennis last year, according to the Tennis Integrity Unit, which said the suspension related to an investigation into "alleged breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program."
Police said the organized group bribed the players to guarantee predetermined results, and used the identities of citizens to place international bets on the matches while members of the crime ring attended the matches to ensure the players complied with the fixes.
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