Spain arrests 83 people, including 28 players, in fixing probe

Florence Fletcher
January 11, 2019

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.

A statement from Europol said: "A criminal group of Armenian individuals used a professional tennis player, who acted as the link between the gang and the rest of the criminal group".

Authorities said on Thursday the players fixed results after taking bribes from the Armenian ring.

One of the 28 professional players took part in the last US Open, authorities revealed.

Spanish police raided 11 houses.

Police accused Spanish player Marc Fornell-Mestres - whose highest career singles ranking was 236th in 2007 - of acting as the link between players and the Armenian ring that bribed them for betting purposes.

No other names were immediately disclosed by authorities.

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Fornell-Mestres was provisionally suspended from the sport at the end of previous year.

According to BBC, the Civil Guard added that "once they got the bribe, the Armenian members went to the places where the matches were being played to make sure the player went through with what they had agreed, making the most of their imposing size". Forty-two bank accounts have been frozen.

Spanish police have made widespread arrests following an investigation into tennis match-fixing by an organised Armenian criminal gang.

Professional tennis' anti-corruption body previous year complained about irregular activities at games, including prearranged matches, at the lower-tier ITF Futures and Challenger tournaments.

None of the arrested people has been named.

An independent review panel, set up by the sport's four governing organisations, the ATP, WTA, ITF and Grand Slam Board, last month published a report into the threat of match-fixing in the sport.

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