Wimbledon to beef up measures against doping, corruption

Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:14am EDT
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - The Wimbledon championships will protect its squeaky clean image with enhanced anti-doping and anti-corruption measures for this year's 130th tournament, organizers said on Tuesday.

Tennis was rocked by allegations of match-fixing on the eve of this year's Australian Open and suffered another blow to its integrity when former Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova said in February she had failed a drugs test.

At a news conference announcing yet another substantial hike in prize money, the All England Club pledged to beef up its safeguards against sport's two biggest threats.

Measures will include data streams and videos of all matches, including in qualifying events, enhanced data monitoring and player education as well as additional anti-doping controls to complement those already run at the tournament by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).

"Whether it's integrity or anti-doping we feel we should enhance what we are doing," Richard Lewis, chief executive of the All England Club, told reporters.

"There has been lots of media scrutiny since January and it's appropriate that we respond accordingly."

The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) received no betting alerts during the 2015 championships, but All England Club chairman Philip Brook said the prestigious tournament needed to safeguard public trust, admitting that the sport's image was under threat.

"We don't think there is a big issue but we will do whatever it takes to keep the sport clean," he said. "It's an issue of perception rather than reality."   Continued...

Tennis - Wimbledon Spring Press Conference 2016 - All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, Wimbledon, England - 26/4/16
Chairman of the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club Philip Brook (L) and Chief Executive of the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club Richard Lewis during the spring press conference 
Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Andrew Boyers