It has been alleged that David Marrero of Spain was already ‘on a blacklist of suspicious players’ before his involvement in the Australian Open betting plunge last weekend.
The controversy began on Sunday when large amounts of money were reportedly wagered on an obscure mixed doubles clash at the Australian Open, raising suspicions of match fixing.
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David Marrero of Spain (pictured) was already ‘on a blacklist of suspicious players’ it’s alleged
The vast majority of the money was on Czech Andrea Hlavackova and Poland’s Lukasz Kubot beating the Spanish pairing of Marrero and Lara Arruabarrena, Marco Blume, from global betting website Pinnacle Sports, told The New York Times.
Mr Blume said this was a sign that the match may have been fixed and betting on it was stopped 13 hours before it was to be played. Hlavackova and Kubot went on to beat the Spanish pairing 6-0, 6-3.
When asked about the alleged blacklist he president of the International Tennis Federation, David Haggerty, told Four Corners: ‘This is something that our team should be investigating and looking at, and I’m sure that they are.’
Arruabarrena denied any suggestion of match fixing, while Marrero said he was suffering from a knee injury.
Marrero said he was suffering from a knee injury during the controversial match
Large amounts of money were reportedly wagered on a obscure mixed doubles clash at the Australian Open on Sunday. One of the players was Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena (pictured)
Victoria Police were contacted by Mr Blume of the site’s suspicions.
‘We saw a small number of people placing a large amount of money,’ he told the newspaper.
‘In context, these matches are rather small. That means that any aggressive betting behaviour is very easy to detect on our side.’
A Victoria Police spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia they would continue to work with authorities throughout the Australian Open tournament, but would not comment on any operation matters.
A spokeswoman for the International Tennis Federation (ITF) told The New York Times the organisation had received no reports of Pinnacle Sports’ suspicions.
The vast majority of the money was on Czech Andrea Hlavackova and Poland’s Lukasz Kubot. The pair defeated Arruabarrena (above) and Marrero 6-0, 6-3
She said any allegations of this nature would be brought up first with the sport’s Tennis Integrity Unit.
But the TIU did not wish to comment on the matter when the newspaper approached the internal watchdog for tennis.
The betting suspension by Pinnacle Sports follows an investigation carried out by the BBC and Buzzfeed alleged 16 players, who have ranked in the top 50, were repeatedly flagged up to tennis authorities over suspicion of match-fixing but no further action was taken.
It is alleged that more than half of the players named were in the starting field for the Australian Open.
The central allegation is that an examination of 26,000 matches given to the sport’s governing bodies in 2007 provided enough evidence to tackle players, but was not acted upon.
Pinnacle Sports stopped betting on the match 13 hours before it was to be played. Above is Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic
Mr Blume said large amounts of money being bet on the match involving Kubot (pictured) was a sign that it may have been fixed
Three matches at Wimbledon are said to be in the files, though it is not clear when they took place. The Tennis Integrity Unit, set up to police the sport in 2007, said they had a zero-tolerance approach to betting-related corruption.
At the time of the news, the International Tennis Federation denied allegations they had tried to cover up match fixing.
Allegations of match fixing are investigated by the sport’s Tennis Integrity Unit.
‘The Tennis Integrity Unit and the tennis authorities absolutely reject any suggestion that evidence of match fixing has been suppressed for any reason,’ ITF, which runs the four grand slams, said on January 18 in a statement.
‘In its investigations the Tennis Integrity Unit has to find evidence as opposed to information, suspicion or hearsay.’
Pinnacle Sports has also been contacted for comment on the matter.
Victoria Police were contacted by Pinnacle Sports in relation to the match-fixing allegations