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FTSIS 2007: Life ban for tennis match-fixers- 1 Nov 2007 18:30:00

Etienne de Villiers, chairman of men’s tennis tour the ATP, told the FT Sport Industry Summit that any player found guilty of match-fixing would be ‘thrown out of the sport for life’.

Reacting to the spate of recent press and player speculation that match-fixing is prominent within tennis, de Villiers stated that the issue was being looked at with the utmost seriousness and that, should any evidence come to light, the most strenuous action will be taken.

Stated de Villiers: ‘Let’s be clear about this. Match-fixing is plain wrong. There is no ambiguity about it like doping for example. This is not a mistake or a doctors’ error. This is a pre-planned initiative and its plain wrong.’

De Villiers also stated that he would not be afraid to experiment with new ways to present tennis including the use of technology and tournament structure.

He commented: ‘I got pounded in the press for introducing round robin formats to tennis and people asking for my head but I firmly believe that you have to experiment in order to take a sport forward. It didn’t work out but we weren’t to know that until we tried. I experimented and I will continue to do so.’

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