by Mette Dahlgaard and Eva Jung, December 28, 2014
Police investigating match fixing in tennis
The Fraud Squad are investigating an attempt to pay up to 30 Danish players money to lose
The Fraud Squad, who investigate and press charges in cases involving economic and international crime, are now for the first time involved in a case of attempted match fixing in tennis. It happened in the late summer at Futures tournaments, the lowest tennis level, held in Aarhus and Copenhagen.
The Deputy General State Prosecutor Per Fiig has stated that the State Attorney for Special Economic Crimes and International Criminality has found cause to start an investigation, but at the moment cannot say anything about the current investigation.
The Danish daily Politiken had a story earlier that there was an attempt to bribe with large sums of money tennis players to lose a set on purpose. Berlingske can now publish details in the case, such as how the match fixers went about it.
“It’s gratifying the the Danish prosecutors are looking at the case. I’m looking forward to what might happen. I’m very satisfied that this is being taken seriously because the problem won’t disappear on its own,” says Sune Irgens Alenkær, who is a director of the Danish Tennis Association (DTA).
The Danish Athletic Association (DAA) is also gratified by the news that the Fraud Squad is interested in the case.
“It’s super positive. It hasn’t been pleasant to see that there have been foreign match fixers willing to operate in Denmark in connexion with competitions. Because everything points to it being foreign match fixers, we haven’t, as a Danish association, had jurisdiction over it, so we couldn’t investigate the case directly. If the police have taken up the case, we can only welcome it,” says Jesper Frigast Larsen, who is head of the DAAs Match Fixing Committee.
The Danish Tennis Association, who arranged the tournament together with Århus 1900 and Copenhagen’s Ball Club, have since the late summer been unable to gain any insight into where the case stands. The International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) own investigative arm, the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) gathered evidence in the form of e-mails, Facebook messages and text messages. The Danish association has since been kept in the dark of it’s own parent organisation, which, despite numerous enquiries, hasn’t found time to meet with the DTA.
Berlingske has been in contact with several of the tennis players who all tell the same story: they were offered around 30,000 Danish Crowns ($4,500 US) to lose a set, but they haven’t heard from either the TIU or the Danish police about making statements. They handed over all evidence to an ITF supervisor who was at the tournament. But the German supervisor, Nico Naeve, has been muzzled, he wrote in an e-mail to Berlingske.
Asked directly what the status of the Danish case was, the TIU answered: “We are aware of the accusations at the tournaments in Denmark, but we cannot answer specific questions,” they wrote.
The Danish Athletic Association understands that there needs to be quiet about ongoing investigations, but “clamming up” isn’t the way forward.
“We don’t believe at all that one’s sport is protected by pretending the problem doesn’t exist. We tip our hats to football/soccer that has doen a lot to address the problem.”
Translated by @markalannixon