The Tennis Integrity Supervisory Board (Board) met by video conference on 31 March 2020 to review and progress the ongoing work of the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU).
The Board was briefed on reporting and intelligence that indicated a heightened level of corrupt activity at the entry levels of professional tennis in early 2020, prior to the suspension of all tennis in March. This was evidenced by an increase in match alerts for the first quarter of the year (38 v 21 in 2019) and confidential information received from tennis and betting sources.
Return to Tennis campaign
In recognition of the unique circumstances created by the Coronavirus pandemic, the Board approved a proposal by TIU management to develop a cost effective Return to Tennis education and awareness campaign. This will inform and support players, officials and tournament personnel about the potential integrity risks posed.
This is in addition to the ongoing monitoring, investigation and enforcement of the sport’s anti-corruption code by TIU investigators and intelligence specialists.
All governing bodies supported this pre-emptive approach and will collaborate with the TIU on the project, with immediate effect.
Jennie Price, the independent Chair of the Board, said: “It’s imperative that when tennis is able to resume, everyone involved is aware of the potential integrity risks. The Board was unanimous in its support for a Return to Tennis campaign to inform and protect the players, and to guard against the threat to the integrity of the sport.”
Progress on creation of a new independent tennis integrity organisation
Work towards establishing a new independent tennis integrity organisation with its own legal identity is well advanced. The Board resolved that the new company will be called the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) and will become operational from 1st January 2021. At that time, the ITIA will replace the current TIU, with staff becoming employees of the new company.
Integration of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme
The Board decided that plans to integrate the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (TADP) within the new ITIA from January 2021 should continue, but on a delayed timeline. This decision recognises that, in the prevailing extreme circumstances, the overriding need is for full focus to be maintained on the anti-corruption programme, until the tennis calendar is fully restored. In the meantime, planning for the transition of the TADP into the ITIA will continue.
The Tennis Integrity Supervisory Board consists of five independent members: Jennie Price CBE, Chair, Sir Philip Craven, Avril Martindale, Sal Perna AM and Bob Harayda, and senior representatives from the four International Governing Bodies of tennis; Mark Young, ATP, Steve Simon, WTA, David Haggerty, ITF and Philip Brook CBE, on behalf of the Grand Slam Board.