British tennis player reveals match fixing offer at tournament in Greece

  • Sayan Das

British tennis player Oliver Golding has shed light on a match fixing offer that he once received worth £1,794 during a tournament in Greece. 

The former US Open junior champion reported the incident while also pointing out that he would think twice before doing so again following a lack of support from the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU). 

“You hear about these sort of things happening and you’re aware it is a problem but it wasn’t a situation I’d found myself in before,” Golding told ITN News.

An event where similar incidents are not uncommon, the bottom-level ‘Futures’ event in Greece offered a total prize money of £7,500. 

The whole controversy was triggered with Greek player Alexandros Jakupovic suggesting to Golding that the Brit could lose the first set and go on to win the next two. 

Golding eventually won the tie 6-3, 6-2 defeating the man with a career high ranking of 464 without too much fuss. 

Jakupovic was later found guilty of five offences and subsequently banned for life. 

Golding was called to a hearing when the Greek’s activities were exposed, but the 24-year-old feels that he wasn’t provided much support by the TIU. 

“I’ve never been questioned by lawyers in my life,” he said.

“I almost felt a little bit guilty for reporting him. There is a problem in tennis and it does need to be stamped out, so I’m sure I did the right thing but it is a tough process to go through.

“If it happened again it would be in the back of my mind, “God, I’ve got to go through this again” which I don’t think anybody really wants to do.”

Contrary to the British player’s comments, the TIU denied their lack of assistance in a statement. 

A spokesperson from the tennis authority said: “The TIU values the support of players in giving evidence at disciplinary hearings.

“Looking back at the case in question, the unit believes that every effort was made to keep in contact with the witness, provide him with ongoing support and to recognise his contribution in helping to achieve a lifetime ban for a corrupt player.”

There has been a push by the TIU in the last four years to weed out illegal activities such as fixing as well as online betting, a period during which the organisation has expanded significantly. 

Most of these activities are concentrated in the lower tiers of tennis tournaments which are spread across the globe whereby making them tricky to regulate.

A multi-million pound inquiry into match-fixing ordered last year under London QC Adam Lewis has aimed to address the corrupt situation and is set to release its findings at the end of the season. 

However, a rare occurrence took place in the higher level of the game in August when the TIU accused Alex Dolgopolov of match fixing, the world number 41 denying the charges. 

The latest figures from the last three months revealed 65 basic ‘betting alerts’. With 35,349 ‘professional’ matches being played in this period, an alert was basically flagged 0.183% of the time. 

News Now - Sport News