The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) released its annual review on Friday, completing its first year under a new operating framework, outlining the progress of its work and further directives protecting tennis tournaments, athletes and broader stakeholders from corruption.
After a two-year review, the’ Independent Review Panel’ (IRP) recommended that the joint governing bodies of tennis overhaul TIU governance and work. This included expanding the scope of the integrity team to have additional powers for police tennis and reforming the sport’s competitive structures.
Completing year-1 of its current operating system, the TIU governance stresses that the integrity body has been successful in achieving a’ sustained reduction’ in tennis warnings.
The TIU estimates that in 2019, pro tennis warnings totaled 138 matches, a 48 percent reduction on 2018 results reflecting the lowest figure since 2015 figures were first released.
Of note, the TIU emphasises that the reduction was maintained throughout the year without being distorted by any exceptional quarterly trends, as all quarters of 2019 reported reduced alerts to match.
The integrity unit details a’ combination of factors’ that contributed to match alerts downturns including the’ deterrent effect’ of tougher TIU penalties on offending tennis players combined with strengthening tournament structures and athlete qualifications.
As a key mission, the TIU has improved its international cooperation structure, establishing closer relationships within the betting industry with various law enforcement authorities, governing bodies and partners.
Further goals achieved see the TIU secure the removal of live scoring data from reporting on $15 K events on the World Tennis Tour, a key recommendation of the two-year IRP investigation. The TIU Supervisory Board and the ITF agreed on a timetable to reduce data supply for these tournaments by 2021 towards full discontinuance.
Entering a new decade, the ITF has also dedicated $8 million in financial resources switching over its syndicated events to improve tournament infrastructure and player protections.
The 2020 agenda of the TIU will see the integrity unit working to address’ courtsiding as a specific offence,’ explaining that the practise of individuals relaying live match data will encourage betting on tennis matches in lower rankings.
In strengthening its security against courtsiding, the TIU has added new requirements to the’ Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme’ (TACP) which implement that no player, coach or related staff can’ directly or indirectly facilitate another person’s wager on the outcome or other aspects of a competitive tennis match or tournament.
Jennie Price CBE, the Independent Chair of the TIU, said that progress made in 2019 reflected the’ ambitions of becoming the most innovative integrity organisation in sport’.
“2020 will bring fresh challenges as betting on sports continues to grow, with new markets opening in the US and online gambling increasing,” she said.
“Its an Olympic and Paralympic year, putting the fight against on doping and corruption in a brighter spotlight. With more resources, independence and a continued commitment to excellence, the TIU is determined and well equipped to respond.”