Former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic has demanded proof of match-fixing following various allegations of corruption at the top level in tennis, adding that players are treated like suspected “serial killers”.
After various media reports alleged that tennis hasn’t been properly policed by its anti-corruption watchdog, the sport’s officials have responded to the claims.
With that in mind, tennis authorities have announced a review of the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) in an attempt to come to the bottom of the claims.
Ivanisevic, however, says the use of statistics isn’t actual proof of any wrong-doing.
“There is no evidence. We are talking about algorithms and mathematics and some computer spits your name out like a serial killer and everyone is chasing you,” he said.
“You need proof. Show me that somebody did something wrong then I will believe you.”
Earlier reports by the BBC and Buzzfeed News made use of an algorithm to cross-check matches in which irregular betting patterns were at the fore.
Whilst these reports didn’t identify any specific players, it did say that various matches had been red-flagged to the sport’s anti-corruption body, but that no further action was taken.
Ivanisevic, though, feels that irregular patterns should only result in players being put on a ‘maybe list’.
“Maybe I am going to have a date with Angelina Jolie,” the Croat added. “Maybe not.
“How can you say maybe? It’s a serious thing, worse than taking drugs, worse than killing somebody. Don’t give me a maybe, don’t give me the mathematics, give me proof.”
Meanwhile, Martina Navratilova laughed off the reports of corruption at the top level of tennis.
“There’s no specifics,” she said.
“If any of us would have been approached it would have been ‘are you kidding me? I have a match to play, go away’.
“We are talking about players losing at a grand slam on purpose? That’s not going to happen. That’s not going to happen at the highest level.”
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