ICSS encouraged by response to match-fixing fears at Roland Garros

By Ben Spratt 23 October 2020 9
ICSS encouraged by response to match-fixing fears at Roland Garros

The swift response to concerns of match-fixing at the French Open and the ongoing investigation represent signs of progress in protecting the integrity of tennis, according to the CEO of the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS).

Reports of irregular bets around a women's doubles match at Roland Garros surfaced this month. An investigation is ongoing, the ICSS says, led by the Paris prosecutor's office.

While such a crime at a grand slam is "quite rare and difficult to do", ICSS chief executive Massimiliano Montanari recognises tennis is "one of the most vulnerable sports from a match-fixing perspective".

The ICSS has, however, been encouraged by the reaction to the Paris allegations.

"We finally see the putting into practice of a system and mechanism to tackle corruption in sport, in this case tennis," Montanari told Stats Perform News.

"We are seeing a very active Tennis Integrity Unit, recently reformed and in phase of establishment as an independent legal entity to investigate and sanction but also educate on integrity matters.

"We see a prompt action of a public prosecutor which brings a possible case of match-fixing from the sport to the criminal dimension."

But Montanari recognises there is still work to do, adding: "We need to enhance capacities both within sport organisations and law enforcement to address such forms of crimes and eliminate forever the perception that match-fixing is a victimless crime.

"Because if sport becomes a fiction, we will lose its unique societal and educational capacity with tragic consequences on the values of our youth and of the future generations."

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