Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
Tennis has once again topped the suspicious alerts reported by members of sports integrity body ESSA to sports governing bodies, comprising 34 alerts during the second quarter of 2016. In second place was football with four alerts, followed by one alert each for beach volleyball, handball and snooker. A suspicious alert doesn’t mean that match manipulation has taken place, just that ESSA’s bookmaker members have spotted unusual patterns in the betting markets that merit investigation.
In an editorial within ESSA’s report, the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) said that the 48 alerts ‘should be seen in the context of the 24,110 matches played around the world in that period’, which it said represented 0.2% of all matches played. As pointed out above, it warned that the alerts only represented an indication that suspicious activity may have taken place.
From a geographical perspective, 24 suspicious alerts were reported from sporting events taking place in Europe, five each in Africa and Asia, three each for North and South America, with one case listed as being of ‘no specific country of origin. ESSA represents 21 regulated bookmakers – it said that it a 22nd member shortly.
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