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Professional Tennis Players in Match-Fixing Racket in Spain
13 January 2019, 04:04 | Anna Jefferson
Spanish authorities arrest 28 tennis players in match-fixing probe
The investigation, codenamed Operation Bitures, started in 2017 when the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) an worldwide anti-corruption body, made a complaint about a Spanish tennis player, who has not been named.
The operation involved searches at 11 different addresses in 9 different provinces of Spain, leading to the "seizure of 167,000 euros (192,000 USA dollars) in cash as well as a handgun, stolen identity documents, jewelry, more than 50 electronic devices and five high-end vehicles".
Apart from allegedly bribing players, the suspects are accused of using identities of thousands of citizens to bet on the pre-arranged games.
An ongoing investigation into a tennis match-fixing scandal by an Armenian criminal gang has seen 15 people arrested. They also gave orders for "other members of the group" to place bets at the "national and worldwide level".
Of the 83 people implicated in the case, 28 were professional tennis players including one, whose identity was not revealed, who competed at the 2018 US Open.
Twenty-eight professional tennis players are being investigated over alleged match-fixing, Spanish police have revealed.
The European Sport Security Association has frequented listed tennis as the sport with the most suspicious betting alerts in its reports.
Match fixing has become a controversial issue in tennis, where elite players are handsomely paid but those in the lower echelons of the game can struggle to make ends meet. It wasn't clear if the player who took part in the U.S. Open was among those detained.
According to the Civil Guard, which investigated the corruption along with Europol and Spanish tax authorities, the match-fixing group had been operating since at least February 2017, generating millions of dollars in profit.
"A group of Armenian individuals used a professional player who served as the link between them and the other members of the network", reads the statement.
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