(January 26, 2016) Tennis’ governing bodies announced on Wednesday at the Australian Open that they will assign an independent review of their Tennis Integrity Unit to try and regain “public confidence” in the sport after the BBC and BuzzFeed News reported match-fixing involving top 50 players.
Here is the press release sent to media:
Statement from Tennis Governing Bodies
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 27 January, 2016 AEDT
Tennis Announces Independent Review
Independent Review Panel will:
o review and report on the appropriateness and effectiveness of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP)
o take into account public commentary regarding the processes, procedures and resources
o make recommendations for change
Adam Lewis QC to head Independent Review Panel (IRP)
Commitment to fund and implement all actions recommended by the IRP
(Melbourne, Australia, 27 January 2016) The Chairmen and CEOs of the Governing Bodies of International Tennis – ATP, WTA, ITF and the Grand Slam Board – today announced an independent review headed by Adam Lewis QC aimed at further safeguarding the integrity of the game.
The Independent Review Panel will review and report on the appropriateness and effectiveness of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program and make recommendations for change. In conducting the review, the IRP will take into account public commentary regarding the processes, procedures and resources of the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU). The Governing Bodies of International Tennis said they expect the IRP to address issues including:
How the TIU can be more transparent without compromising the TIU’s need for investigative confidentiality
Additional resources for the TIU both within the unit and at tournaments
Structural and/or governance changes that enhance the independence of the TIU
How to extend the scope and reach of the tennis integrity education program.
The Governing Bodies of International Tennis commit to make the outcomes and recommendations of the IRP publicly available and to implement and fund all the actions recommended by the IRP.
Adam Lewis QC is recognised as the leading expert on sports law at the London Bar. He co-edits the principal textbook, Sport: Law and Practice, lectures on sports law and regularly chairs various sports tribunals, and acts as an arbitrator.
Mr Lewis will be assisted on the Independent Review Panel by two members that he will select and appoint to reflect the global nature of the sport.
The IRP will report to the Governing Bodies of International Tennis. An interim report will be provided by the IRP.
“This review will build on the 2008 Environmental Report that saw tennis become one of the first major sports to establish its own dedicated anti-corruption unit. Since 2010, the Tennis Integrity Unit-instigated anti-corruption investigations have resulted in 18 successful disciplinary cases being brought forward including life bans for five players and one official,’’ the statement said.
All professional players, support staff and officials are subject to the terms of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program which equips the TIU with substantial investigative powers. These include the right to interview any relevant person of interest and obtain their telephone, computer and bank records.
“Tennis remains one of the leaders in integrity. We have a zero-tolerance approach to all aspects of corruption and all of us are absolutely committed to rooting out corruption whatever it takes.
“The environment for all major sports, including tennis, has changed dramatically over the past eight years and combined with issues raised in the media, we believe now is the right time to review how we continue to fight corruption in the game.
“Given the seriousness of the issue, we call on all governments worldwide to make match fixing a distinct criminal offence, resourced by national crime fighting agencies working in cooperation with sports integrity boards and other relevant stakeholders.”
Chris Kermode, ATP Chairman
Steve Simon, WTA CEO
David Haggerty, ITF President
Stephen Healy, Australian Open Chairman
Jean Gachassin, Roland Garros Chairman
Katrina Adams, US Open Chairman
Philip Brook, Tennis Integrity Board Chairman and Wimbledon Chairman