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Top tennis players involved in biggest match-fixing scandal

Top tennis players involved in biggest match-fixing scandal
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Highlights

The scandals involved in sports and manipulating the game has been turned into a billion-dollar business. Experts estimate worldwide sales in 2018 at 1.6 trillion euros. It is extensively used by criminals incorporating mafia groups and syndicates.

Berlin : More than 135 tennis players, including one ranked in the ATP top 30, are implicated in an international betting scandal, German media reported.

According to a joint report by daily newspaper Die Welt and broadcaster ZDF, the players are subject to a cross-border investigation involving both the FBI and European authorities.

Among the individuals allegedly involved is a male player in the top 30 who has won three ATP tour titles, the report said.

"We are talking about an Armenian betting mafia network which is spread across seven countries in Europe and has manipulated on a large scale," Belgian state prosecutor Eric Bisschop told ZDF.

He added the scandal involved hundreds of small bets on fixed games, wracking up profits of tens of thousands of euros in each case.

ZDF and Die Welt also spoke to Argentinian former player Marco Trungelliti, a whistleblower who claims to have been contacted by match-fixers.

"There are pros in the world top 50 who have fixed games. It happens at all levels," Trungelliti said.

The investigation is expected to take place in European countries such as Belgium, Spain, France and also in the United States.

The US federal FBI has communicated with the investigators in Belgian and reportedly a tennis professional from Top 30 rankings with three ATP titles in his bag is found to be guilty.

Eric Bisschop, Vice Prosecutor General of Belgium and investigator involved said, "This case is about the Armenian betting mafia network that has spread across seven countries in Europe and has been highly intelligent and cheated on a large scale."

Numerous small amount bets were placed on 'manipulated games' and more than thousands of Euros might sum up to each manipulation.

"This mafia is very structured, it has people who are responsible for the accounts, others who wash the money and those who make contact with the players," Bisschop added.

The scandals involved in sports and manipulating the game has been turned into a billion-dollar business. Experts estimate worldwide sales in 2018 at 1.6 trillion euros.

It is extensively used by criminals incorporating mafia groups and syndicates.

The investigation is still under process and the judgment will be declared in the next few months.

This year the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) has banned more than 20 players, men, and women. The Argentine professional tennis player Marco Trungelliti was contacted by manipulators.

There are professionals in the top 50 in the world who have tampered with games. You can't say it is only cheated in the lower areas.

No, it happens at all levels," Trungelliti told the International Tennis Association. Trungelliti was involved in match-fixing activities while playing in Argentina.

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