London: Even as the Wimbledon organisers make unprecedented arrangements to check match-fixing, a gambling watchdog has revealed that a top player threw his match here two years ago to win thousands of pounds in bets.
The inquiries into that match, besides 44 others will take place later this year after the appointment of a new “integrity unit” to deal with the betting scenario, a report in Sunday Telegraph said here on Sunday.
“For the first time a Wimbledon match — believed to have been played two years ago — will be examined,” a source close to the International Tennis Federation (ITF) was quoted by the paper as saying.
The men’s draw was the subject of “suspect betting activity”, which made the gambling watchdog suspicious that the result could have been fixed.
The decision follows the publication of a report by two former Scotland Yard officers, which said that 45 matches from the past five years should come under “further review” due to that suspicion.
Meanwhile, the Wimbledon tournament starting on Monday is being held amid unprecedented scrutiny to prevent attempts by players to “throw” matches for financial gain.
Andy Murray, the British No. 1, and Tim Henman, the former No. 1 who retired last year, have both expressed concerns that some players might be open to corruption.
“Everyone knows it (match fixing) goes on,” said Murray, who is not under suspicion.
Observers think it is unthinkable that the top seeds such as Roger Federer, Rafel Nadal and Novak Djokovic would risk their multi-million pound careers by involving themselves in match-fixing.
They, however, think some lower-ranked players who struggle to meet their expenses from earnings, are more susceptible to being bribed.
Djokovic was reportedly offered £110,000 to lose a match at a tournament in St. Petersburg in 2006.
The Serb, now the World No. 3, immediately rejected the deal and withdrew himself from the tournament. — PTI