New Tennis Scandal Nets Umpires Helping Gamblers Win

Posted: February 11, 2016

Updated: May 25, 2017

Another Tennis scandal has blown up in the face of the International Tennis Federation as it comes to light that umpires have been taking bribed, getting caught, and then banned, but their wrongdoing was kept from all but a few insiders making a mockery of their transparency claims.

New Tennis Scandal

• Umpires helped gamblers cheat
• Live points updated slowly
• ITF kept very quiet about it

If you like to bet on sports in the UK the chances are you’ve wagered a little over the years on the Tennis and if the recent match fixing scandal we covered didn’t quite convince you that the sport isn’t quite as clean as it would like everyone to believe, there’s more bad news that just might.

Now, as well as players being accused in one match fixing scandal after another, it transpires the umpires have their own Tennis scandal as well with two having been secretly banned and four others about to be ejected from the sport for the rest of their lives.

Investigations into this new Tennis scandal by the Guardian Newspaper, well known spelling error and left-wing broadsheet from the UK, reveal that Umpires from Kazakhstan, Turkey and Ukraine are just some of those that have been taking bribes in return for the manipulation of live scores in the International Tennis Federation’s Futures Tour.

ITF Kept Quiet About Go-Slow Umpire Tennis Scandal

Umpire Kirill Parfenov was “decertified for life” for trying to elicit assistance from another official in these endeavors, and Denis Pitner of Croatia was banned for a year for using online betting sites to place wagers on the Tennis, and the other four involved in one Tennis scandal or another all face serious corruption charges. The ITF just didn’t tell anyone.

That there are a few dodgy people in the sport might surprise no one after the match fixing scandals came to light, but the fact the International Tennis Federation seems to have been gambling news of these wrongdoers could be kept quiet is most troubling. What else aren’t they telling us? And was all this self inflicted?

The 2012 $70m deal with Sportradar must have seemed a great idea at the time, but the ability of people to wager on lesser matches in smaller tournaments has placed officials at these matches in a position to assist in a gambling Tennis scandal by simply doing their job slowly.

They update the scores just sixty seconds late and their cohorts can use that minute to their advantage betting on a point that has already been scored at onlines sites less reputable than Bet365 and the other big names. Add to this the already growing problem of “courtsiding” and Tennis begins to look like it has far bigger problems than it’s letting on.

New Tennis Scandal Trumps Transparency Talk From ITF

The ITF can claim that it is doing all it can to be transparent, and that might convince some who like to take advantage of UK gambling laws to bet on the Tennis, but when it’s ditched several officials for corruption and not told anyone, those claims ring a little hollow, and that goes double for its defense of the deal with Sportradar.

“Our deal with Sportradar, by creating official, accurate and immediate data, acts as a deterrent to efforts by anyone trying to conduct illegal sports betting and/or unauthorizsed use of data for non-legal purposes.”
The ITF said in a statement, adding that it would in future announce if officials were found guilty of corruption in their sport.

As the intensity of the spotlight on sporting corruption continues to grow, and more and more sports find their dirty laundry being done in public, Tennis seems to have furthest to fall. Having pretended for so long that they were beyond reproach each new revelation tarnishes tennis far more than it might most.

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