A Russian tennis participant suspected of intentionally dropping a doubles match at Roland Garros final season was launched on Friday by French police who arrested her after she misplaced on this yr’s competitors.
Yana Sizikova, 26, who’s 101st within the ladies’s doubles rankings, was detained by a particular French unit on the grounds of the French Open, shortly earlier than 9pm (1900 GMT) on Thursday, a police and authorized supply advised AFP.
Le Parisien newspaper, which first reported the arrest, mentioned that she was detained after she got here out of her post-match therapeutic massage. Her lodge room was additionally searched, it added.
Sizikova was launched late on Friday with out being charged, the Paris prosecutor’s workplace mentioned.
“The investigation is continuous,” it mentioned.
An investigation into doable sports activities corruption and organised fraud was opened final October over a first-round match in 2020 wherein Sizikova and her American associate Madison Brengle misplaced to Romanian pair Andreea Mitu and Patricia Maria Tig.
Suspicions have been aroused due to abnormally excessive betting exercise on the match in nations exterior France, which was reported to legislation enforcement, a supply near the case advised AFP on the time.
One sport particularly — the fifth of the second set — was being analysed by investigators after it featured two uncommon double-faults by Sizikova who misplaced her serve to like.
On Thursday, Sizikova and her new associate Ekaterina Alexandrova misplaced in beneath an hour 1-6, 1-6 to Australian pair Storm Sanders and Ajla Tomljanovic in the primary spherical of the ladies’s doubles.
Sizikova, who lives between Russia and Spain, was competing at Roland Garros for the primary time in 2020.
The quantities positioned in bets on her sport amounted to “tens of hundreds of euros”, a French supply mentioned in October.
The Global Lottery Monitoring System in addition to the Group of Copenhagen, which brings collectively 33 nationwide anti-sports corruption our bodies, raised the alarm.
The president of the Russian tennis federation, Shamil Tarpichshev, mentioned the case was “an outdated story”.
“This story has been operating since October. Until the paperwork (about Sizikova) are printed, we are able to’t do something, we’ve to attend,” he advised TASS.
The participant’s lawyer in France, Frederic Belot, mentioned: “Yana Sizikova had nothing to reproach herself for and intends to offer all the required explanations to French investigators.”
Belot mentioned the “critical accusations” stemmed from “a slanderous article by an Italian tennis blogger” against which the player “intends to take legal action quickly for defamation and slander”.
Professional tennis has been hit with match-fixing allegations up to now, however solely comparatively junior gamers competing at lower-tier tournaments have been banned or convicted.
The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) was created by the worldwide governing our bodies to research allegations towards gamers and hand out sanctions.
In January this yr, it introduced lifetime bans towards two low-ranking Russian ladies’s doubles gamers, Sofia Dmitrieva and Alija Merdeeva, who have been discovered to have been concerned in match-fixing.
Sizikova is a doubles specialist with a present world singles rating of 765.
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