News 6th December 2016

TIU clarifies role in Spanish investigation

The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) has clarified that it provided information to Spain’s Guardia Civil enabling it to arrest 34 people as part of a match-fixing investigation, and still operates on a confidential basis ‘wherever possible’. Last week, Spanish police announced that it had begun its investigation leading to the arrests after receiving information from the TIU, however the names of the players were not revealed.

‘TIU policy is to operate on a confidential basis wherever possible’, wrote a TIU spokesperson in an email. ‘The Guardia Civil mentioned our involvement in the recent case, rather than the TIU announcing it. The Unit will always work co-operatively with law enforcement agencies investigating betting related corruption in the sport. Police obviously have greater powers than a sports integrity unit, so their involvement can bring forward evidence that could subsequently be used in a tennis investigation/prosecution. Likewise, TIU’s expertise in tennis can be of value to the police.’

The TIU was initially established to instigate disciplinary cases within tennis, but does not exclude the possibility of information sharing with police in jurisdictions where cheating at gambling is a criminal offence, such as in Spain. The TIU privacy policy clarifies that it can share information with law enforcement agencies.

Within Great Britain, the TIU’s information-sharing abilities could be set to expand, if proposed amendments to Section 6 of the Gambling Act 2005 are approved. Section 6 allows information sharing between certain sporting bodies and Great Britain’s Gambling Commission, which is otherwise prohibited unless a criminal investigation is underway, due to the potential risk to integrity. The TIU is one of the bodies that the Gambling Commission proposes adding to Section 6 in its consultation on the amendments, which closes on 8 December.

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