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Response to match-fixing claims under the spotlight

By Tom Allnutt

Tennis authorities have responded to allegations of widespread match-fixing by appointing an Independent Review Panel to examine the sport's anti-corruption programmes.

In a press conference lasting 45 minutes at the Australian Open yesterday, it was announced the panel will analyse the effectiveness of the Tennis Integrity Unit, which was criticised in an investigation released by the BBC and Buzzfeed last week.

The investigation claimed 16 players were repeatedly flagged up to authorities as suspicious with regards to match-fixing but no further action was taken.

Governing bodies said the panel would be headed by London-based attorney Adam Lewis and would scrutinise the TIU's transparency, funding, structure and education programmes.

They also committed to making public the review's outcomes and pledged to implement and fund all its recommendations.

ATP chairman Chris Kermode said: "The last thing anyone wants is another sports body investigating itself, which is why we have taken this very bold step to commission a completely independent review.

"This will be an open review. Nothing is off the table. Adam Lewis QC and the review panel can look at anything. They can talk to anyone, investigate anything.

"The four important points are: there is no deadline to this review, it will take as long as it is needed; it will cost what it costs; the results will be made public and will be published; and the most important point is we have committed to act on every recommendation."

Lewis will be assisted on the panel by two members, whom he will appoint "to reflect the global nature of the sport".

Lewis has previous experience in EU law as well as sports law and has served on tribunals involving the FA, Uefa, the RFU, UK Athletics and the London 2012 Olympics.

The BBC and Buzzfeed's allegations have cast a shadow over the first 10 days of the Australian Open, with several players made to answer questions on the issue.

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