The month of March is proving to be one to forget for professional tennis.
After former world number one Maria Sharapova admitted to doping last week, there has been developments in allegations of match-fixing, first reported by BuzzFeed.
Italian prosecutor, Roberto di Martino, has inducted a two-year enquiry into the allegations and now believes as many as 24 of the ‘top’ players should be investigated further.
Di Martino who is working with the BBC and BuzzFeed, has called on tennis authorities to do more, especially concerning the top 20 players in the world.
He believes TWO of the current top 20 could easily be linked with particular match-fixing groups.
Thanks to the investigations two Italian players have been charged, both Potito Starace and Daniele Bracciali, and were issued with 12 month bans.
During the trials, evidence showed that matches played at Wimbledon and the French Open were also suspected of being corrupt, but Di Martino claims despite the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) being sent the evidence, they were only interested in taking action against the Italian players on the list.
Di Martino believes the fact the TUI ignored the opportunity to investigate further is a real problem:
“The international aspect seems more problematic than a situation involving a few Italian players…”
“…I do not understand why there was no real initiative by the integrity unit to establish if there was something dirty behind this.”