Melbourne, Jan 19 (IANS) World No.2 Andy Murray has called on the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) to ramp up education about the dangers of corruption, in the wake of a damning report accusing several past and present players of match fixing. Murray, who won his opening round match at the Australian Open on Tuesday, said there is not enough being done to assist younger and inexperienced players about the dangers of getting involved in match fixing practices, reports Xinhua.
The Scot, who was one of the first players to become aware of the joint BuzzFeed/BBC investigation on Monday, said it was almost understandable for inexperienced players to be tempted into corruption if racketeers offered substantial amounts of money to fix matches.
He said junior- and lower-level players who were struggling to make ends meet were most at-risk. “I’ve been aware of the issue since I was quite young. I think when people come with those sums of money when you’re that age, I think sometimes people can make mistakes,” Murray told reporters. “It’s do think it is important from a young age that players are better educated and made aware of what they should do in those situations and how a decision (to match fix) can affect your career and the whole sport. “I don’t think (education) is done very well. I think you should be learning of (corruption) when you’re 15, 16, 17 years old. Because when you come on the tour, players need to have the right people to support them.”
Murray also slammed the Australian Open for signing on a new sponsor in William Hill Betting for the 2016 tournament. “Yeah, I’m not really pro that,” Murray said, “I think it’s a little bit hypocritical really.”
The news follows revelations from World No.1 Novak Djokovic, who on Monday told reporters that he was offered more than $200,000 to fix a match earlier in his career.
Up-and-coming Australian player Thanasi Kokkinakis on Tuesday also admitted to being approached via social media to lose fixtures.