Australian Open junior champion charged with match-fixing
Oliver Anderson charged with engaging in conduct that corrupts a betting outcome
Oliver Anderson with the trophy after winning his junior singles final at the Australian Open in Melbourne last year. Photograph: Michael Dodge/Getty Images
Victoria Police announced on Thursday that an 18-year-old man from Queensland had been charged following alleged match-fixing at a tournament in Traralgon in October.
The player was named by the Age newspaper as Anderson, who defeated Jurabek Karimov to win the boys’ title at Melbourne Park 12 months ago and is currently ranked 743rd.
The police statement read: “La Trobe Crime Investigation Unit detectives charged an 18-year-old man on summons today following alleged match-fixing at a tennis tournament in Traralgon in October.
“Sporting integrity intelligence unit detectives and bookmakers assisted with the investigation. The Queensland man was charged with engaging in conduct that corrupts a betting outcome. He will appear at the Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court on March 2, 2017.”
The news is the last thing Australian tennis officials would have wanted less than two weeks before the start of the first Grand Slam of the season.
Last year, explosive allegations of widespread match-fixing in tennis by the BBC and Buzzfeed were published on the eve of the Australian Open.
Tennis’ governing bodies subsequently announced the formation of an independent review into the sport’s anti-corruption practices. The review panel is expected to announce its interim findings shortly, with the sport having committed to implementing all the recommendations.
Tennis Australia last month announced increased measures to combat corruption, including the appointment of two full-time investigators to its National Integrity Unit, anti-corruption officers at all of its professional tournaments and increased prize money at lower levels where corruption is a serious problem.
At the second-tier tournament in Traralgon, Anderson won his opening match before losing to countryman John-Patrick Smith, taking home 860 US dollars (approximately €812) in prize money.
Ann West, head of integrity and compliance at Tennis Australia said: “We have upped the ante but it’s disappointing, there’s no doubt about it. You would be naive to say it wasn’t.”