MELBOURNE (CBSMiami) – The 2016 tennis season is starting under a cloud of scandal.
There are reports out that allege widespread match-fixing in the sport, and that it’s being ignored.
The reports do not name any names but they claim that former US Open and Wimbledon champs are among the players under suspicion.
They are being accused of throwing matches and making high stakes gamblers look genius.
While tennis fans fight off the heat at the Australian Open, the sport is trying to fend off the heat from a possible scandal.
A report by the BBC and the website Buzzfeed News accuses some players of throwing matches in which suspiciously heavy bets were laid on their underdog opponents.
Those bets were made by Italian and Russian syndicates.
Match fixing allegations first surfaced several years ago, prompting the pro tennis tours to create an independent “tennis integrity unit” to police the sport, and punish any guilty players.
A few low level players on the men’s tour have been busted and banned over the years.
However, the latest report says most allegations are swept under the rug.
Although the sport’s top guns have repeatedly heard rumors about match fixing, they doubt there’s much to it.
Novak Djokovich says he rejected overtures to throw a match several years ago, and has heard nothing about the subject since.
Serena Williams says if it is occurring, she knows nothing about it.
Roger Federer says if it’s true, he would like to see names come out to pinpoint and erase the problem.