An independent review into possible corruption in tennis has concluded the sport faces a "serious integrity problem", with the issue described as "particularly acute and pervasive" at lower-level events.
The four organisations principally responsible for the governance of professional tennis - the ATP, WTA, ITF and Grand Slam Board - appointed an independent review panel in early 2016 to address betting-related and other integrity issues facing the sport, after BuzzFeed and the BBC claimed to have uncovered evidence of suspected match-fixing through a joint investigation.
On Wednesday, the panel, led by Adam Lewis QC, released an interim report and revealed they had found no evidence that the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) had acted to cover up breaches of integrity.
The panel also wrote: "While no level of professional tennis appears to be immune from integrity-related concerns, the available evidence further suggests that integrity issues have not reached a significant level at grand slam events, ATP or WTA Tour events, WTA $125k events, or ITF women's $60k and $100k events."
Nevertheless, it added: "Today, tennis faces a serious integrity problem. The advent of online betting and the sale of official live scoring data have greatly exacerbated the problem.
"The empirical evidence available to the panel – including betting data, player interviews, and the panel's player survey – demonstrates that while no level of professional tennis is immune from betting-related and other breaches of integrity, the problem is particularly acute and pervasive at the lower levels ... and at the middle levels of the sport, especially on the men's circuits.
"The panel assesses the problem at those levels to be very significant. A TIU investigator described the extent of the problem at some lower-level events as a 'tsunami'.
"The evidence reviewed by the panel has not revealed a widespread problem at higher levels of professional tennis, although there is nonetheless evidence of some issues at these levels."
The panel adds that its sources "generally point to the unsurprising conclusion that the integrity problems in tennis are greatest where prize money relative to costs, prospects of advancement, public interest and attention, and financial resources of tournaments are lowest."
Several recommendations have been made by the panel, including a discontinuation of the sale of official live scoring data "at least for ITF $15k and $25k Pro Circuit events [the lowest levels of the sport]", and the "elimination of betting sponsorships from tennis".
In a joint statement, the ATP, WTA, ITF and Grand Slam Board announced their agreement with the findings of the panel's report.
The governing bodies added: "We are pleased with the panel's findings that they have seen no evidence of any institutional corruption or cover-up by the tennis authorities or the Tennis Integrity Unit."
|Southee happy to be back on home soil|
|I wouldn´t swap Dembele for Neymar – Pires|
|Canelo ready to risk heavy weather against Fielding|
|Raptors upstage Warriors, Davis leads Pelicans with 44 points|
|India skipper Kohli excited by green Perth wicket|
|PSG? I haven´t decided my future yet – De Jong|
|Marcelo: Real Madrid don´t have attitude problem|
|India pair Ashwin, Rohit ruled out of second Test|
|Kovac: Ajax-Bayern draw was amazing|
|Sims re-signs with Dragons until 2022|
|Derrius Guice injury update: Redskins RB (knee) has rehab setback, undergoes 3 more procedures|
|Emery: Arsenal could sign defender in January|
|Phillies sign McCutchen to three-year deal|
|O´Neal thinks his Lakers teams could ´easily´ beat Warriors|
|A-League to add two clubs by 2020|
|Curry says he was ´obviously joking´ about moon landing comments|
|Now the beautiful part starts – Ronaldo ready for Champions League knockout stage|
|Bayern have a lot more potential – Lewandowski not satisfied despite top spot|
|Lyon star Fekir shares plaudits for Champions League progression|
|Mourinho not surprised by United´s defeat to Valencia|
|Motivation no issue for Benfica, claims Vitoria|
|Lewandowski finishes Champions League group stage as top scorer|
|Mourinho: We scored two goals and lost 2-1!|
|England have a diamond - Guardiola hails City´s Foden|
|Sterling´s carefree display invites us to love football more than others hate|
|Juventus achieved their objective, despite everything going wrong – Allegri|
|Never say never - Schmidt not ruling out All Blacks role|
|Bologna´s winning start ended in BCL|
|Di Francesco critical of Roma performance|
|Shakhtar Donetsk 1 Lyon 1: Fekir fires French side through in Group F|
|Benfica 1 AEK Athens 0: Grimaldo sends hosts out on a high|
|Young Boys 2 Juventus 1: Hoarau double seals famous victory|
|Manchester City 2 Hoffenheim 1: City through as group winners after Sane brace|
|Ajax 3 Bayern Munich 3: Kovac´s men clinch top spot in Amsterdam thriller|
|Valencia 2 Manchester United 1: Jones scores own goal as Red Devils limp through|
|Solari accepts responsibility for Madrid´s heaviest home defeat in Europe|
|WATCH: Rooney backs Rocky ahead of Canelo showdown|
|McLaren to collaborate with Team Bahrain Merida|
|Las Vegas to host 2020 NFL Draft|
|Stade teenager tragically dies after neck injury|
|Cahill may need to leave Chelsea if he wants to play, admits Sarri|
|Viktoria Plzen 2 Roma 1: Chory winner takes hosts into Europa League|
|Real Madrid 0 CSKA Moscow 3: Champions humiliated at Bernabeu|
|Sarri condemns ´disgusting´ Sterling abuse|
|Hansen hails outstanding Ben Smith ahead of Pau switch|
|Foden, Sterling start for Manchester City v Hoffenheim|
|Sky decision will not affect us in 2019, insist Froome and Thomas|
|Al Ain 3 Team Wellington 3 (aet, 4-3 on penalties): Shootout heartbreak for semi-pros in Club World|
|Jackson to remain Ravens´ starting QB despite Flacco return|
|Rams headline 2019 NFL International Series home teams|
|Rams headline International Series home teams for 2019|
|Atlanta want ´exciting football´ from new boss amid Bielsa links|
|Atlanta still yet to receive ´serious´ bid for ´Bale-like´ Almiron|
|Tottenham v Manchester United to be held at Wembley|
|Matip facing six weeks out with fractured collarbone|
|I´ve had quite a lot of calls – Brailsford encouraged by Team Sky interest|
|Afghanistan Football Federation president provisionally banned by FIFA|
|Knee injury rules Huddersfield´s Mooy out of Asian Cup|
|Arnautovic tipped for Man United move by Austria team-mate Sabitzer|
|Arsenal legend Adams to become RFL president|
|My love for football still burns strong – Toure speaks out amid talk of Premier League return|
|Noble contract extended to 2021|
|Split with Sky is an opportunity, says Brailsford|
|Van der Burgh rolls back the years, two more medals for Hosszu|
|Maitland-Niles praises Sterling for speaking out|
|Life is tough for him right now - Celtic striker Griffiths to take time away from football|
|Froome: Team Sky keen to continue with new partner|
|Emery confirms Koscielny to play against Qarabag|
|Llorente keen on Athletic return|
|I love the guy - Pocock backs under-pressure Cheika|