Tennis Australia strengthens integrity measures
Tennis Australia has announced new integrity measures, including a bolstered National Integrity Unit.
Tennis Australia has announced new integrity measures, including a ramped up National Integrity Unit, designed to safeguard the integrity of the upcoming summer of tennis including Australian Open 2017, Emirates Australian Open Series and the Australian Pro Tour.
With upscaled capabilities in monitoring, investigation, analysis and education, the Tennis Australia Integrity Unit was reinforced in May 2016 to combat the increasing integrity issues in the sport.
Former law enforcement officer and long-time sports management and policy expert, Ann West, was appointed to head up the unit which was recently bolstered to include two full-time experienced investigators from law enforcement backgrounds, an information and intelligence officer and a safety and risk manager.
Increased integrity measures will include:
Tennis Australia President Mr Steve Healy said the increased measures were an important part of protecting the sport in Australia.
“Although we have no evidence of widespread corruption in Australian tennis, we have recognised that the potential to corrupt is there and as such we have taken extensive steps to safeguard our sport,” he said.
“We made the decision to not just sit back and wait for the IRP to hand down their findings but to take immediate action. Our sport needs strong measures implemented now and that’s exactly what we are doing.
“We have committed significant funds and resources into strengthening our position now so that we don’t look back in five years and think we could have done more.
“There is no place for corruption in sport and Tennis Australia will do everything within its power to seek out and investigate even the tiniest hint of it – no matter the cost.
“The addition of two full-time investigators and an intelligence and information officer to our Integrity Unit means we have increased our monitoring and analysis capabilities. The resources resulting from wagering partnerships, like what we have with William Hill, give us greater capability to uphold the integrity framework of the sport. Of course we also have close relationships with local law enforcement agencies and the Tennis Integrity Unit.
“The global TIU received criticism for its lack of transparency this year and a lot of work has gone into improving the process. Match alert data is now published, along with quarterly briefing notes and the first annual review is due before the AO in January. There was a full media briefing at Wimbledon and there is a new website.
“The aim is to provide the public with information as soon as possible without affecting the progress of the enquiries. We all understand there are times when you need to hold back so as not to ruin the evidence gathering or alert a potentially corrupt player that they are under investigation.
“We all know the potential for corruption is highest at the lower levels of the professional game. We have lobbied extensively for more prize money at ITF Futures and ATP Challengers, and from next year we will see increased prize money for lower tier Australian Pro Tour events.”
Former Northern Territory police officer and teacher Peter Peterson has recently joined Tennis Australia as an Integrity Officer.
“We are seeing that the perception of corruption is increasingly become an all-sport issue and our integrity unit is working to foster closer relationships with the integrity units of other major Australian sporting codes such as fellow Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports (COMPPS) members to assist in unified responses to sport-wide issues,” Mr Peterson said.
“Integrity agreements with licensed bookmakers operating in Australia will give us even more data sources to monitor and analyse, through mandatory reporting of all suspicious betting alerts, to see if an investigation is warranted. It is important to remember betting alerts are not alone evidence of match-fixing or corruption.
“Back in December 2007, Tennis Australia led the way, creating the sport’s first integrity unit, and we have worked closely with our global counterparts since the establishment of the TIU in September 2008.
“Unlike other sporting federations, where a player’s ban or sanction has not been enforceable outside of nationally sanctioned tournaments, our team, under Ann West’s guidance, has a close working relationship with all other relevant bodies to ensure an integrated and coordinated response.”
Ann West | Head of Integrity & Compliance
In her previous role of Risk and Compliance Manager for Tennis Australia, Ms West was responsible for developing and implementing a uniform national approach to integrity and compliance issues and has been responsible for the creation of both the Tennis Australia Anti-Doping Policy and Member Protection policies.
With more than 40 years of experience in sports administration, both as a volunteer and professional, along with a background in law enforcement, Ms West has forged important ties across sporting codes, local, federal and national law enforcement agencies and various governing bodies.
Peter Peterson | Integrity Officer
2008-16 – Sergeant, Northern Territory Police
2007-08 – Education Manager, Australian Institute of Personal Trainers , Brisbane
2005-07 – Curriculum Advisor, Northern Territory Department of Education
2001-05 – Head of Physical Education & Sport, St Philip’s College, Alice Springs
Rhys Harrison | Integrity Officer
2012-16 – Inspector, Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation
2009-12 – Inspector, Department of Justice and Regulation, Victoria
2007-09 – Federal Agent, Australian Federal Police
2001-07 – Australian Defence Force