The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) has confirmed the retirement of Jeff Rees, its Director of Integrity since September 2008.
Mr Rees was appointed by the governing authorities of tennis to establish the TIU as a dedicated body to protect the sport from threats posed by gambling-related corruption. During his four-year tenure, he oversaw the introduction of comprehensive player education and training initiatives, together with the implementation of anti-corruption protocols in tournament situations.
The introduction of the Uniform Tennis Anti-Corruption Program, one of the most stringent anti-corruption codes in professional sport, was another significant landmark. Under the auspices of the code, investigations were carried out which subsequently resulted in five players and a manager being disciplined. Two of the players were banned from tennis for life.
A former Detective Chief Superintendent with the Metropolitan Police in London, he was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in 2000. Mr Rees was also the Chief Investigator of the International Cricket Council’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit for eight years, prior to bringing his extensive anti-corruption skills and experience to tennis.
With effect from 1 January 2013, he will be succeeded as Director of Integrity by Nigel Willerton, a former senior officer with the Metropolitan Police, whose 30 years with the Force was spent investigating major crimes and complex criminal cases. Nigel has worked with the TIU as an Investigator since June 2010.
“Jeff Rees has provided tennis with exceptional leadership and guidance over the past four years and we pay tribute to the outstanding contribution he has made in protecting the sport from those who would seek to corrupt it,” said Philip Brook, 2012 Chairman of the Tennis Integrity Board.*
“In saying farewell to Jeff we welcome Nigel Willerton as Director of Integrity, confident that he will provide the continuity of operation so important to the sport. Nigel is already well-known and respected by players and officials throughout tennis and will ensure a seamless transition of leadership takes place in this crucial role.”
* The Tennis Integrity Board comprises:
- Philip Brook, Chairman of the All England Tennis Club, representing the Grand Slam Committee
- Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO, WTA
- Francesco Ricci Bitti, President, ITF
- Brad Drewett, Executive Chairman and President, ATP.