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Last Updated: Friday, 12 October 2007, 16:44 GMT 17:44 UK
Tennis 'aware of fixing threat'
Andy Murray
Murray's initial comments sparked a dispute within the sport
Tennis chiefs have pledged vigilance in their fight against match-fixing after meeting to discuss the issue in London.

The ITF, ATP, WTA Tour and Grand Slam Committee insisted that tennis does not have a corruption problem.

But they added in a joint statement: "We do recognise that a threat to the integrity of tennis exists."

Their summit came three days after Andy Murray said "everyone knows" fixing goes on, although the British number one later backtracked on his comments.

ATP chief Etienne de Villiers confirmed ahead of the meeting that his organisation has a dossier on incidents which have aroused suspicion.

He told the BBC he would not "discuss specific allegations" but said no player involved is inside the top 20.

Murray has been criticised for his comments, with Russian world number four Nikolay Davydenko claiming: "It was folly to say it".

There is a lot of gossip and rumour and very little hard fact

Ian Ritchie
Wimbledon chief executive

Davydenko's retirement during a match in Poland in August sparked an ATP probe in the wake of irregular gambling patterns. He denies any wrongdoing.

De Villiers insisted the ATP is taking the issue seriously.

"We set up an anti-corruption programme in 2003 because we recognised that gambling was a threat," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"When we get information we investigate it, as we've shown in our investigating with the alleged [Davydenko v Arguello] incident in Poland."

Wimbledon chief executive Ian Ritchie does not think there is any evidence to support suggestions matches have been thrown.

"There is a lot of gossip and rumour and very little hard fact. The fact there's so little suggests it's not an enormous problem," he told Today.

"I think most of the situation has been people approached and then turning it down."

Murray's initial claims were made in an interview with BBC Radio 5live but he issued a "clarification" on his website on Thursday.

606: DEBATE

The 20-year-old: "When I said, 'Everyone knows that it's going on' I meant that everyone has probably heard that three or four players have spoken out about being offered money to lose matches - which they refused."

Murray had told the BBC that matches on the men's ATP Tour were being thrown and that all players were aware of it.

He said: "They can try their best until the last games in each set and then make some mistakes, hit a couple of double faults and that's it."

World number two Rafael Nadal questioned whether Murray really had any great knowledge of corruption.

He said: "I doubt Murray knows more than anyone else - he's gone overboard and there are no fixed games.

"I've been in all the meetings, I see what goes on on the circuit just like him and I'm not so stupid as to not know what is going on."

The ATP has already told players they have 48 hours to tell the governing body if they are approached to throw a match or risk punishment if they fail to do so.

World number one Roger Federer said: "I've been around for the last 10 years and have never been approached or ever heard anything about it until these comments came out."



SEE ALSO
Davydenko faces betting inquiry
27 Aug 07 |  Tennis


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