Andy Murray today urged tennis authorities to be proactive in the fight against corruption after match-fixing claims hit the sport—and blasted a betting company’s sponsorship of the Australian Open.
After the BBC and BuzzFeed reported top players, including Grand Slam title-winners, were suspected of match-fixing but never punished, Murray said the fight against corruption must be transparent.
“If there is corruption in any sport, you know, you want to hear about it,” said the world number two, after beating Alexander Zverev in the Australian Open first round.
“As a player you just want to be made aware of everything that’s going on. I think we deserve to know everything that’s sort of out there,” he added.
“Some of it will be true, some of it might not be true. But I’m always very curious with that stuff across really all sports, as well. I think sports could in general be much, much more transparent.”
Tennis officials reacted angrily to the report, refuting any suggestion of a cover-up and criticising its release just before the start of the season’s first Grand Slam.
But Murray said players should not have to read about the match-fixing claims in the media, and that tennis authorities should be more open about the situation with their participants.
“I just think that it should be tennis that does a better job of explaining—they (players) shouldn’t have to read it in the press,” Murray told reporters.
“You have to be proactive I think with things like this and go and speak to the players rather than them reading about it in the newspapers or listening to it on the TV or the radio.
“I think the more proactive you are with educating young players, the better on matters like this.”
Murray said, unlike world number one Novak Djokovic who was targeted earlier in his career, he had never been approached to fix a match.
Murray also took aim at organisers for allowing a betting company to sponsor this year’s Australian Open, a move which has already provoked criticism.
“I think it’s a little bit hypocritical, really,” he said. “I don’t believe the players are allowed to be sponsored by betting companies but then the tournaments are.
“I don’t really understand how it all works. I think it’s a bit strange.”
Other players have also detailed approaches and according to Australian media, police are closely watching the first round of the Australian Open for suspicious results.
The controversy is just the latest to hit the sports world, after allegations of doping cover-ups rocked athletics and football body FIFA was engulfed by a string of corruption scandals.