Mixed-doubles players cleared by TIU of match-fixing allegations

ESPN logo
Tuesday, May 31, 2016

International tennis officials completed an independent investigation this month that has cleared four mixed-doubles players of alleged match-fixing at this year's Australian Open.

The Tennis Integrity Unit issued a statement to The Wall Street Journal that no action will be taken against mixed-doubles player David Marrero, his partner, Lara Arruabarrena, and their opponents Lukasz Kubot and Andrea Hlavackova, concluding that "no evidence of corrupt activity has been identified."

The players were investigated after The New York Times reported in January that suspicious betting patterns about 13 hours ahead of their scheduled match led Pinnacle Sports, an online gambling site, to suspend bets. However, other sports gambling services told Australian paper The Age at the time that they saw nothing unusual.

Arruabarrena and Marrero, who lost in straight sets, denied there was any fixing, and Kubot and Hlavackova said they didn't think Arruabarrena and Marrero tanked the match. Kubot and Hlavackova said they spoke with the Tennis Integrity Unit about it.

The Times report came a week after BBC and BuzzFeed News reported, based on files they said had been leaked "from inside the sport," that tennis authorities had suppressed evidence of match-fixing and overlooked suspected cases involving players ranked in the top 50, including Grand Slam singles and doubles winners. Those reports overshadowed the start of the Australian Open and led to the announcement of an independent review into tennis' anti-corruption practices, which are overseen by the Tennis Integrity Unit.

On potential match-fixing cases, the Tennis Integrity Unit received more than 40 alerts of suspicious betting patterns in matches played in the first three months this year, International Tennis Federation president David Haggerty said in April.

The integrity unit was formed in 2008 as a joint initiative of the International Tennis Federation, the ATP, the WTA and the Grand Slam Board to combat corruption in the wake of a 2007 match in Sopot, Poland, involving suspiciously high levels of betting.

Information from ESPN's Jim Caple was used in this report.