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There Might Finally Be Some Transparency In Tennis Match-Fixing Investigations

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The Tennis Integrity Unit, the sport’s governing body for investigating corruption, typically describes its work in anonymizing generality, which can be frustrating for anyone who wants to know the gory details beyond “Which tournament was it?” In August, the TIU did however make an unusual move: It specified a particular match it was investigating. Alexandr Dolgopolov, one of the players in that match, weathered some probing questions at the U.S. Open and offered some amusing, heated answers about his lack of online friends.

At the time, the TIU’s specificity seemed simple and isolated: The betting patterns around the Dolgopolov match were so suspicious, and so widely discussed, that the group had no choice but to make some sort of affirmative comment when directly asked by reporters. This one revelation did not necessarily appear to be part of some larger philosophical shift. But today the group claimed it will make greater, sustained efforts for transparency in the future. From a note published today:

In a move towards greater transparency of its operations, the TIU has confirmed that for the first time it will publish the detailed disciplinary decisions produced by its panel of independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officers (AHOs). These contain the details of the charges laid, the representations made by the TIU and the accused party, the reasons for the decision and the sanction imposed. Content will be redacted where required to maintain the confidentiality of witnesses or events that may be related to ongoing and associated cases.


This would be a big shift in transparency, if the TIU follows through. It’s the difference between seeing some numbers in a table and wondering which three matches at Wimbledon they could possibly be, and (theoretically) knowing the exact names of the players and exact reasoning behind the deliberation. Talk is cheap; we’ll have to wait until the first of these reports to see just how much makes it through the filter.

We’ve reached out to the TIU to ask if the results of Dolgopolov inquiry will be published in this way and will update with their response.

UPDATE: “Publication of full decisions will apply to all disciplinary cases that result in a sanction—suspension or fine—being applied by the hearing officer,” a TIU spokesperson told me.

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