Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Call the Racquet Squad

The BBC over in Great Britain is reporting today that they have found secret files that they claim contain evidence of "widespread suspected match-fixing at the top level of world tennis, including at Wimbledon."

There is an outfit called the Tennis Integrity Unit, which has looked into reports that 16 top players have thrown matches over the past ten years.

The TIU says it has a zero-tolerance policy where corruption is concerned, but on the other hand, none of these people who were investigated has been held out of any competition, so you have to wonder how valid the reports are in the first place.

Chris Kermode is with the Association of Tennis Professionals, and he says it's not like the evidence of match-fixing had "been suppressed for any reason or isn't being thoroughly investigated".

He went on to say that the BBC reports deal with events from 10 years ago, but his group will check out any new information that comes in.

More to the point, there was an investigation following a game involving Nikolay Davydenko and Martin Vassallo Arguello.  

I'm sure we all recall that match!  Oh, how exciting! Davydenko hits the ball to Arguello, and then Arguello hit it back to Davydenko, and then yada yada yada it went back and forth a hundred times and I fell asleep.

Both players were cleared of violating any rules, and also, any hints that they were involved in anything interesting were rejected out of hand. 

Since then, the investigators are casting a wider net, looking into a web of gamblers that are involved with tennis match betting.

My conclusion is that I have now lived long enough to see the development of a tiny computer that you can carry in your pocket and use to make and receive phone calls and take pictures of your lunch, and long enough to see people purchasing hoverboards that add to their daily lives the extra excitement of setting the house on fire, and people waiting in line for hours for the chance to spend their money on a lottery ticket that will make them richer than Zuckerberg or Oprah.  

And now I have learned that there are people living among us who are willing to wager on the outcome of a tennis match.  I'll bet that I can't even stay awake long enough to see the outcome of a tennis match.

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