Russian players suspected of manipulating matches at the 2020 French Open

A Russian tennis player suspected of manipulating the game last year was arrested during this year’s French Open, her lawyer told the Associated Press on Friday.

According to her lawyer Frederic Belot (Frederic Belot), this player is Russia’s 765th Yana Sizikova (Yana Sizikova), she denies these allegations. He told the Associated Press that Sizikova wanted to lodge a complaint on the grounds of defamation.

The Paris prosecutor’s office confirmed to the Associated Press that a “woman international player” was detained, but did not disclose her identity. The prosecutor’s office stated that she was arrested on Thursday night on charges of “sports bribery and organized fraud that may have been committed in September 2020”.

Last October, a French police department specializing in gambling fraud and match-fixing started an investigation. It has previously cooperated with Belgian authorities to investigate suspicious matches at the lower levels of professional tennis.

Lawyer called Sizikova “very shocked”

The French Tennis Federation said that because the investigation is ongoing, it cannot provide more information.

The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA), which is responsible for investigating match-fixing in this sport, declined to comment on the details of the case, but stated in a message to the Associated Press that “ITIA and law enforcement have been in contact. France.”

Her lawyer told the Associated Press in a telephone interview that Sizikova was “very shocked.”

“She was detained like a criminal. She said she was innocent and didn’t want me to help her when interrogating her because she considered herself a victim,” Belot said.

The French Open has not yet been determined

Belot said he only started representing Sizikova after contacting the player’s parents on Friday. He said that when the case opened last year, Sizikova had contacted ITIA to deny any wrongdoing.

The prosecutor’s office said that the investigation focused on suspicion of a French Open match last year. It does not specify a match. German newspaper Die Welt and French sports daily L’Equipe said at the time that there were suspicious betting patterns in the first round of women’s doubles on September 30.

That day, Sizikova and her partner Madison Brengel of the United States played against Romanian players Andrea Mitu and Patricia Maria Teague on the 10th court. Sizikova served in the fifth game of the second set and had two double faults during the period.

The Parisian newspaper reported on Friday that during the process of winning that game, the Romanian players had bet tens of thousands of euros with several operators in different countries.

The newspaper said that 26-year-old Sizikova ranked 101st in the doubles match and was arrested after losing in the first round of the French Open on Thursday. The newspaper stated that the authorities searched Sizikova’s hotel room.

Last year’s French Open was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and was held at the end of September and early October.

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