The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) and the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) have exchanged correspondence between each other highlighting the integrity challenges facing both parties during the current Coronavirus pandemic.

In particular, the letters emphasize the need for all stakeholders to exercise increased due diligence in the facilitation of betting markets and also draw attention to mitigating measures that have been put in place by the two bodies to protect the sport and IBIA’s members.

The TIU and IBIA, who have worked together constructively for many years, have also agreed to enhance their relationship with an increased exchange of information and advice over the coming months.

Jennie Price, Chair of the Tennis Integrity Supervisory Board, writing to Khalid Ali, CEO of IBIA, noted: “… in the spirit of our shared interest in maintaining the integrity of the sport, I am formally requesting that in the coming months you and your members exercise enhanced due diligence in ensuring the integrity of the tennis events offered for betting. 

“When deciding whether to offer betting on matches or competitions, we urge great caution in offering betting on those with no umpires and/or whose integrity risk management plans cannot be ascertained. We would include events that are promoted as purely ‘Exhibition’ matches (i.e. not intended to be competitive events) in the same risk category at this time. 

“I acknowledge that there is a supply chain involved in any betting market and I will therefore be communicating directly with the leading data companies involved in the tennis markets urging them to exercise increased due diligence, and will be providing them with a copy of this letter.”

In response, Ali wrote: “The points that you have made, particularly regarding recent tennis events outside of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP) and the prospect of increased activity from corrupters when the professional tour reopens, will be communicated to IBIA members. Please let me assure you that IBIA and its members are aware of your concerns around these events and, as with the markets generated for competitions across all sports in the current environment, they are receiving heightened levels of vigilance. 

“We would expect and encourage any responsible operators outside of IBIA to also be taking that approach. For IBIA’s part, the ongoing engagement and information sharing gateways established with the TIU are adding to our monitoring capabilities for tennis and we will be delighted to explore enhanced cooperation and alignment during this challenging time.”