Daily Management Review

Former Tennis Player Pleading Guilty Raises Concerns over Match Fixing in Tennis


01/25/2016




Former Tennis Player Pleading Guilty Raises Concerns over Match Fixing in Tennis
After a former Australian professional tennis player pleaded guilty to match-fixing just hours after a top global bookmaker suspended betting on a suspicious match at the Australian Open, allegations of corruption in world tennis were reignited on Monday.
 
After reports surfaced last week that tennis authorities had failed to deal with widespread match-fixing, marring the opening of the year's first Grand Slam tournament, the case against former 187-ranked player Nick Lindahl reached court.
 
While pleading guilty in a Sydney court to one charge related to match-fixing in a minor 2013 tournament, Lindahl will contest a separate evidence-tampering charge on technical grounds. Two other charges were dropped by prosecutors after the guilty plea.

Lindahl offered to intentionally lose a match to a lower-ranked player and informed an associate so that he could wager against him when playing at the Toowoomba Futures Tournament in Sptember 2013, prosecutor Kate Young told the court.

Lindahl coaching an associate on how to hide evidence from investigators and admitting to doing the same himself were shown out before the court when a transcript of telephone calls intercepted by police after the match were read in court.

"Just get rid of it ... just get rid of everything," Lindahl said in the transcript, which was read by Young.
 
Lindahl would be sentenced on April 15 and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment on the charge to which he pleaded guilty. He was arrested a year ago.
 
It was unfortunate that the case had come to court amid a blaze of publicity about suspected match fixing and the Australian Open tournament, said his lawyer, Troy Edwards.
 
"The matter was set to be heard before Christmas but there was a sick barrister and Nick asked me to agree to a delay. And now it's all kind of blown up in his face," Edwards reportedly told Reuters.
 
Betting agency Sportsbet suspended betting before alerting police after it noticed heavy gambling on the relatively minor match.
 
Pinnacle Sports, a Curaçao-based sports gambling company also suspended bets on a mixed doubles match at the Australian Open on Sunday prompted by similar suspicious betting.
 
Pinnacle told the New York Times that unusually large amounts of money were placed on Andrea Hlavackova and Lukasz Kubot to beat Lara Arruabarrena and David Marrero.
  
Data from sports odds comparison service Odds Portal shows that heavy betting moved the odds on the match sharply over a 30 minute period more than 12 hours before the match began.
  
While stressing that it is not sufficient to prove match fixing, tennis regulators accept betting fluctuations can be an indicator of suspicious activity.
  
Tennis Australia said in a statement it would continue to work with police and the TIU in regard to "integrity matters".
  
Claiming that a knee injury affected their performance, Arruabarrena and Marrero denied any match fixing in an interview to the New York Times.
  
Kubot and Hlavackova were "surprised" by the allegations and they had spoken with TIU officials, the duo told reporters. They said they had no reason to believe that their opponents had intentionally thrown the match.
 
"We won yesterday, the match. We gave 100 percent in that match and that’s it," Kubot said.
  
(Source:www.reuters.com)






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