Tennis Australia boosts anti-corruption fight ahead of Australian Open

Melbourne Park
The issue of corruption dominated headlines during last year's Australian Open

Australia's tennis association will increase prize money and has employed additional full-time investigators in an attempt to stamp out corruption.

A raft of new security measures have been introduced for the Australian Open and warm-up events in January.

Tennis Australia said there is "no evidence of widespread corruption".

A BBC and BuzzFeed News investigation in January uncovered suspected illegal betting, with 16 players reportedly flagged over suspicious matches.

The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) rejected the allegations but subsequently announced a major review into its operations as the news dominated last year's Australian Open.

Leading players were asked about levels of corruption in tennis, with Roger Federer saying it was "super important to maintain the integrity of our sport", while Andy Murray said, "I think we deserve to know everything that's out there".

Tennis Australia has now announced a number of measures "designed to safeguard the integrity of the upcoming summer of tennis", with its own National Integrity Unit boosted by an information and intelligence officer and a safety and risk manager.

Prize money will also be increased at the "lower levels" of the sport, including qualifying and early rounds of the Australian Open, in an attempt to help those more vulnerable to corruption.

Other steps include enhanced education for players and staff, increased security during tournaments, and extending the block on access to gambling websites from Tennis Australia tournaments.

"We made the decision to not just sit back and wait for the IRP (Independent Review Panel) to hand down their findings but to take immediate action," said Tennis Australia president Steve Healy.

"Our sport needs strong measures implemented now and that's exactly what we are doing."

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