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10 Jan, 2019 12:06

15 arrested as Spanish police move in on tennis match-fixing ring

15 arrested as Spanish police move in on tennis match-fixing ring

As many as 28 professional tennis players are being investigated for possible match-fixing offenses, with one player thought to be a Grand Slam star.

Spanish police are leading an investigation into match-fixing in tennis, with 83 people suspected of being involved in the ring.

That number includes 28 professional tennis players, including one who played in last year's US Open in New York.

Also on rt.com Ukrainian tennis twins handed life bans for match-fixing

No names were released by the authorities, who uncovered an Armenian betting ring which they believe bribed athletes to fix matches for gambling purposes after an investigation was launched in 2017 following concerns about irregular activities in tournaments.

Spanish police conducted 11 raids on houses as part of the operation, leading to 15 arrests, including a number of players.

A total of €167,000 ($192,000) in cash was seized during the raids, along with credit cards, luxury vehicles and a shotgun. Bank accounts have also been frozen.

Europol, the European Union law enforcement agency, played a supporting role in the operation and said that at least 97 matches from "Futures" and "Challenger" tournaments were fixed.

A statement from Europol said: "A criminal group of Armenian individuals used a professional tennis player, who acted as the link between the gang and the rest of the criminal group.

"Once they bribed the players, the Armenian network members attended the matches to ensure that the tennis players complied with what was previously agreed, and gave orders to other members of the group to go ahead with the bets placed at national and international level."