Tennis match-fixing ring under Spanish police investigation

Spanish authorities arrest 28 tennis players in match-fixing probe

Spain arrests players in match-fixing investigation

The authorities said those arrested include the leaders of an Armenian gambling ring that was dismantled in October.

A massive tennis match-fixing ring has reportedly been busted after Spanish police arrested 15 people and investigated 68 more, including 28 professional tennis players, as part of a large-scale investigation.

The European Sport Security Association has frequented listed tennis as the sport with the most suspicious betting alerts in its reports.

The Armenian gang bribed players into fixing matches, according to authorities.

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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".

Eleven houses were raided and police seized luxury vehicles, a shotgun, credit cards, and 167,000 euros ($191,000) in cash. No other names had been immediately disclosed by authorities.

Fornell-Mestres was provisionally suspended from the sport at the end of past year. Fornell-Mestres was ranked 1007th in singles and 772nd in doubles at the end of 2018.

Europol said the investigation began in 2017 after the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) detected a number of irregular betting patterns in matches. They also gave orders for "other members of the group" to place bets at the "national and worldwide level".

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"In total 83 suspects were arrested, 28 of them are professional players", it added.

European Union law enforcement agency Europol, which supported the operation led by Spanish authorities, says at least 97 matches from lower-tier "Futures" and "Challenger" tournaments were fixed.

Match-fixing has been a prominent issue in tennis recently, with Belgian prosecutors detaining 13 people in connection with the issue in June.

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