World tennis is facing the ever-growing threat of corruption with cases last year reaching an all-time high.
In a yearly report, the anti-corruption task force, Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU), reported that 11 players and officials were either successfully prosecuted or had appeals dismissed in 2016.
The report also highlighted that the unit had to issue an unprecedented number of match alerts which came from the betting industry where unusual or suspicious behaviour was detected.
The report has been released close to the start of the Australian Open in Melbourne, which had to contend with allegations of widespread match-fixing in the sport.
“The issue of betting-related corruption in tennis made 2016 a difficult year for the integrity of our sport,” said TIU chairman Philip Brook.
“During the year, information received from partners in the betting industry confirmed an increasing number of matches at the lower levels of the professional game that were the subject of unusual or suspicious betting patterns. While this was not conclusive proof of corruption, it is an indication of concern that in all cases has to be investigated by the TIU.”