How far does tennis' match-fixing problem go? Off The Ball get the inside story

BBC journalist speaks to Off The Ball about what he has discovered


©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

As if sport's reputation for attracting scandal was bad enough at present given events at FIFA and in athletics, tennis is the latest domain which has to deal with controversy.

A BBC and Buzzfeed News investigation has uncovered documentary evidence of match-fixing in the sport which also allegedly includes a significant number of players who have been in the world's Top 50 in and also Grand Slam matches, even at Wimbledon.

World No 1 Novak Djokovic also added his voice to the debate when he revealed that he had been approached - and rejected - an offer to throw a game almost a decade ago.

Simon Cox is the BBC journalist at the midst of the investigation and he joined Joe on Off The Ball to shed light on what has been discovered about ties between some players and gambling syndicates.

"What [the documents] show is that tennis [governing body] commissioned an inquiry that took a year. It had top level investigators, former police officers, betting investigators. They found that, as they called it, very strong evidence linking gambling syndicates in Russia and Italy to tennis players. There were three matches at Wimbledon that they had highlighted and it wasn't just that there were strange betting patterns. They also found phone contact between some of the players and the gamblers," he said.

"This evidence was presented. They thought it was very strong, that tennis would be very thankful and go away and do something about it. What did tennis do? They did nothing about it!"

Cox also detailed the scale of the match-fixing problem on the Off The Ball podcast.