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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

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An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Tennis – Inside Gambling?

A gambling controversy always seems to find itself at the center scope of media attention. Whether it’s Pete Rose, Fanduel, DraftKings, the European Futbol Scandal, or the tennis match fixing allegations, a betting scandal always seems to find its way to the headlines.
On the eve of the Australian Open, a report regarding suspicious tennis activity was released by the British Broadcasting Company (BBC).  The report indicated that roughly 15 players that were ranked in the top 50 have been flagged repeatedly by the Tennis Integrity Unit for suspicion of throwing matches over the course of the past decade. The TIU was established in order to police suspicious activity within the sport, allowing overseeing of players, officials, and administrative personnel behavior and activity in the process.
Professional tennis players have been quick to defend, protest, and deny the allegations. One of the names rumored to be involved is Australian tennis superstar, Lleyton Hewitt, who quickly dismissed the allegations as a mockery.
“I think it’s a joke to deal with it. You know, obviously, yeah, there’s no possible way. I know my name’s now been thrown into it,” said Hewitt. “I don’t think anyone here would think that I’ve done anything corrupt or match fixing. It’s just absurd.”
Hewitt, a 34-year-old veteran, is approaching the Australian Open as his retirement nears. If the allegations turn out to be false, it will be a disappointing way for Hewitt to ride off into the sunset. For a little background, Hewitt is the youngest male ever to be ranked number one in the world in tennis.
Rumors have been so pervasive that administrative leaders of the Association of Tennis Professionals even felt it was necessary to comment on the chaotic situation: “I think that the story that was written was rubbish because they’re just pouring dirt on our sport without proving anything,” voiced Sergiy Stakhovsky to CNN, a longtime member of the ATP player council.
Damien Collins, a British Parliament member stated that the European Sports Security Association has been monitoring unusual betting patterns in sports for several years now. In their research and studies they have flagged up tennis which has three times as many suspicious incidents than any other sport. According to Collins, the hearings regarding the tennis allegations have yet to begin, but if proof of match fixing occurs, punishment is expected to be severe and swift.
Despite the allegations, superstars like Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray continue to dismiss the claims as a sham. For the good of sports in general, let’s hope tennis doesn’t have the next Pete Rose controversy on their hands. It would be a shame to see another case of integrity fading within the sports arena.