Roger Federer: I Want To Hear The Names Of The Match Fixers, Otherwise The Report Is Just Nonsense
by Tom Gainey | January 18th, 2016, 7:56 am
  • 29 Comments

The big topic of the day at the Australian Open was not the tennis, but unfortunately it was about match fixing. With a report surfacing claiming they have evidence that the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) isn’t doing their job policing the sport and preventing match-fixing, Roger Federer wants to hear names.

“I would like to hear the name,” Federer said. “I would love to hear names. Then at least it’s concrete stuff and you can actually debate about it. Was it the player? Was it the support team? Who was it? Was it before? Was it a doubles player, a singles player? Which slam? It’s so all over the place. It’s nonsense to answer something that is pure speculation.

“It’s super serious and it’s super important to maintain the integrity of our sport. So how high up does it go? The higher it goes, the more surprised I would be, no doubt about it. Not about people being approached, but just people doing it in general. I just think there’s no place at all for these kind of behaviors and things in our sport. I have no sympathy for those people.”

Federer, who has served on the player board, maintained that the sport needs to be kept clean.

“I don’t know how much new things there is out there,” Federer said. “It’s just really important that all the governing bodies and all the people involved take it very seriously, that the players know about it. There’s more pressure on these people now maybe because of this story, which is a good thing.”

Earlier, Federer rolled over Nikolaz Basilishvili in his 2016 Grand Slam opener. He’ll face Alexandr Dolgoplov on Wednesday.


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29 Comments for Roger Federer: I Want To Hear The Names Of The Match Fixers, Otherwise The Report Is Just Nonsense

Noonen Says:

Oh, Federer, you don’t think there is corruption in sports? My, my. If you say there is none there must not be any!


Sarah Says:

Well, we all live in a perfect world…


Colin Says:

I think the following (can’t remember where it appeared)is the single most hilarious I’ve ever seen on the great and wonderful Internet

InfoOps wrote on 17 August 2013, as follows:

“Of course both Andy Murray and Novak Djokocic lost.
Current tennis is staged.
Winners are bribed to win.”


Orkneyfudge Says:

I think some people need to read Roger’s full presser! He has not said there is no corruption in sports! Reading incomprehension at its best!


Tennisfan Says:

@Orkneyfudge
I think some people are just interested in taking a jibe at Roger than actually reading the article.


NK Says:

Unbelievable how some people find something wrong in anything federer says without bothering to read the full presser. Pathetic.


madmax Says:

Noonen Says:
Oh, Federer, you don’t think there is corruption in sports? My, my. If you say there is none there must not be any!

January 18th, 2016 at 7:59 am

What is your point Noonen.

This is not what Roger is saying. He wants to know names as am sure every decent tennis player does!


madmax Says:

The uninformed NK. Pathetic indeed.


lakie Says:

I wasn’t a fan of Roger till recently. But of late I am becoming a Roger fan! He is simply superb. His endurance, his comments and how even at this age, he can beat most players including Novak who is in his prime! I am convinced Roger is a fit candidate for GOAT!


lakie Says:

I always suspected the draws were fixed but match fixing? Oh lordy lord that will take away all the thrill of watching tennis. I saw a list on twitter and was pleased to find that our big 4 did not figure there.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Where did you see the list, lakie? I can’t find it anywhere.


Tenn is good Says:

There saying Slam winner(s)in the last 10 years…

Those files indicate that, over the past decade, 16 players who have been ranked in the world’s top 50 have been repeatedly flagged to the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) over suspicions they have thrown matches.

All of the players, including winners of Grand Slam titles, were allowed to continue competing.

Let’s hope it’s not in men’s singles, since there’s 8 winners. Federer,Djokovic,Nadal,Wawrinka,Murray,Cilic,Del Potro,Safin.


jane Says:

i actually agree with fed. it is nonsense/innuendo unless they are more specific. i saw a list on twitter too; it was from a swedish paper or something.


Wog Boy Says:

Jane,
Nole said the same thing in his press conference yesterday “unless they come out with evidence following the names it means nothing”.


mat4 Says:

I gave some names in another thread, with the source.


mat4 Says:

I’ll post again here the list:

“black list

Philipp Kohlschreiber
Potito Starace
Andreas Seppi
Fabio Fognini
Janko Tipsarevic
Michael Llodra
Nikolay Davydenko
Teymuraz Gabashvili
Victor Crivoi
Christophe Rochus
Oscar Hernandez
Yevgeny Korolev
Filippo Volandri
Wayne Odesnik
Victoria Azarenka
Agnieszka Radwanska
Francesca Schiavone
Sara Errani
Maria Kirilenko
Kateryna Bondarenko

… And 21 on the warning list: Brian Dabul, Eduardo Scwhank, Jeremy Chardy, Simone Bolelli, Lukasz Kubot, Carlos Berlocq, Igor Kunitsyn, Andrey Golubev, Alex Bogomolov, Somdev Devvarman, Steve Darcis, Marin Cilic, Flavio Cipolla, Ivo Karlovic, Viktor Troicki, Flavia Pennetta, Roberta Vinci, Virginie Razzano, Romina Oprandi, Dominika Cibulkova, Eleni Daniilidou.”

http://www.svd.se/41-tennisnamn-pa-svarta-listan_6563265


mat4 Says:

I reposted the list in this thread, but it’s in moderation.


Wog Boy Says:

I’ve seen them mat4, but we need evidence not just the names, that’s what Nole said.


mat4 Says:

There won’t be no evidence, IMO. That why the ATP never revealed those names, that “leaked” now.


Wog Boy Says:

There are so many people with weak bladders ..


MMT Says:

Yeah, the title of this is extremely misleading…he didn’t say the investigation is nonsense without names, he said discussing the investigation without names is nonsense. Those are two vastly different things.

I’d also like to point out that ESPN had a “roundtable” discussion about this before the coverage tonight, and the presented Chris Fowler as the pseudo-journalist who had read the buzzed articles (http://www.buzzfeed.com/heidiblake/the-tennis-racket#.ql4br0BVe) where he intimated that this was mostly old news about the Davydenko/Vassallo-Arguello match in 2007.

But the thing they focus on is the fact that this investigation led to evidence of extensive contacts with Betfair account holders around the world who made big money (hundreds of thousands of dollars) on matches that had suspicious betting patterns (like the Davydenko match, but other matches). That should have led to a lockdown on that guy and other players where strange bets were placed by those same account holders and resulted in big pay outs.

But Vassallo-Arguello played 4 more years with no sanctions and another player involved in a lot of questionable matches (Potito Starace and Daniele Bracciali) were banned NOT by the ATP or the ITF, but by the Italian Tennis Federation after a police investigation, not this touted TIU (Tennis Integrity Unit) which has succeeded only in banning players that everyone hates (like Daniel Kollerer) for OTHER unrelated reasons.

This reminds me of the phony nature of tennis’ anti-doping violators (http://tennis-column.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-only-dope-is-anti-doping-believer.html). It just seems like tennis is going out of its way to have it’s cake (look tough on crime) and eat it too (not actually catch anyone cheating).


Michael Says:

Mat4,

Many of the players you have mentioned are so often losing that I do not think you need to match fix to make them lose !!


Michael Says:

Well, the top four are above board of such malfeasance as they are men of integrity, dedication, sincerity and honesty and I do not think there be even faintly involved in such a criminal enterprise selling their soul for a few bucks. Roger is certainly aghast that this issue without substantiation is being exaggerated and over dramatized by the headline seeking Media to sully the reputation of this Gentleman Sport !!

That said, there might be some rotten eggs in the Challenger Circuit and 250 tournaments where such betting scams would have gained traction. But those isolated incidents cannot be certainly generalized to take the Sport down and its popularity !!


mat4 Says:

While the previous list was the list of the players the ATP investigated, here are the names from the “anonymized” buzzfeed list:

Andreev
Lacko
Dodig
Golubev
Chela
Hewitt
Hajek
Montanes
Gimeno-Traver
Tipsarevic
Bogomolov Jr
Ebden
Istomin
Gabashvili
Russell

One name is missing.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Mat4, the first list you posted was from a Swedish tabloid in 2011. Its possible it is the same list as that being discussed, but there were no details around it at the time.
The list you post now does not seem to match the criteria mentioned on Buzzfeed- which itself does not list the players (unless that changed since yesterday).

The details given on the Davydenko match are incredibly damning, and it really can only lead one to believe that the ATP and ITF do not WANT to catch players since he was more or less exonerated. The details as revealed by Buzzfeed now are basically that the investigators found extremely strong circumstantial evidence against this list of players, but that the ATP and ITF did not allow them to proceed to get “hard” evidence, e.g. cell phone records.

If the real list does come to light, there likely will be some guilty and some innocents on there, because the ATP and ITF did not allow the investigation to conclude.


mat4 Says:

The second list I posted should be the “cracked” anonymized Buzzfeed list, although I didn’t have time to check. I couldn’t give a source with it, since the original poster didn’t give one, although I asked for it. For the previous one, about the players the ATP investigated, I gave my source.

A lot of posters here mentioned names they have seen on Twitter, but yesterday I found none, and noone gave a link. That’s why it’s called a buzz, isn’t it? Rumours without bases. So I did my own search, and found what I found. It’s not much, and I hope somebody will post more precise data.

I read the articles published yesterday. The Davydenko case, to me, seems very clear. If the ATP has no power to punish Davydenko and his opponent, then there’s nothing it can do in any imaginable case. Meanwhile, Richard Ings changed the protocol, so now the situation could be a bit more favourable, if there was a will to discover such cases.


MMT Says:

The Davydenko case was not clear cut – they claimed they ran into a roadblock when he refused to hand over the cell phones of his entire entourage as well as other phones they claimed he used (like that of his father or father-in-law). But there was no there, there, and the investigation ended because they didn’t have any evidence that he even associated with anyone involved in gambling, let alone intentionally tanked the match. He made it clear in his testimony that he had always been very open with the Russian press about his injuries, and his brother had confirmed to reporters (and who knows who else) that he had an injury going into a tournament that, at #4 in the world at the time, he really had no business playing. Furthermore, during the match he could be heard on microphones complaining to his team about the his injury, and then called for a trainer, and then the betting patterns changed. The only reason this was a “case” as it were, was because Betfair saw the patterns and simply cancelled all bets on the match. There was really no evidence against him.

But the article goes to great lengths to indicate that the investigation, although it had targeted Davydenko, revealed a mountain of evidence against Martin Vassallo-Arguello, who, among other things, sent 82 text messages to known associates of Betfair account holders around the time of several questionable matches he was involved in. He wasn’t even targeted like Davydenko was, and played until the end of 2011 with no sanctions. That is damning evidence, but once the Davydenko case was dropped, they did nothing with Vassallo-Arguello, and it is the best evidence that they’re trying not to find a problem.

There are others on the Swedish list are the result of looser evidence surrounding questionable betting patterns, but there is nothing close to the evidence against Vassallo-Arguello, so I’m not prepared to castigate all of them. Finally, I should point out that Starace and Bracciali, who were also implicated in the extension of the Davydenko investigation, were eventually banned, not by the ATP or the ITF, but by the Italian tennis federation after a police investigation. So again, they tennis authorities appear to have had their heads buried in the sand.


mat4 Says:

@MMT:

I’ve read the whole article, and I find your argumentation fallacious. I don’t buy it.

Firt, the bets in favour of Vassalo-Arguello rised sharply, before Davydenko started hobbling and requested a medical time-out, when he was leading a set and a break. Then, in that case, only Davydenko could fix the match by losing, not his weaker opponent. Third, Davydenko and his camp refused to give their phones, and did it much later, when most of the data were lost, while Vassalo-Arguello immediately gave not only his, but the phone of his coach too. He had Davydenko’s number in it, BTW.

From the article it is not clear what Vassalo-Arguello had in his phone, nor if he tried to erase the records.

Although he was connected in an unidentified manner with betting circles, Vassalo-Arguello wasn’t the one fixing the match, although he could well be aware of the situation.

It is also strange that, although he was injured, Davydenko lead easily 6-2 3-0, when the bet rampage started.

The reaction of the incriminated Russians was also quite suspicious, the say the least.

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