In February 2016 the Terms of Reference for the Independent Review of Integrity in Tennis were published by the Governing Bodies of International Tennis (the ATP, the WTA, the ITF and the Grand Slam Board). The Independent Review Panel (IRP) established pursuant to the Terms of Reference was instructed to examine, among other things, the nature and scope of gambling-related corruption in tennis; the effectiveness of the sport’s historical approach to addressing such corruption; and potential changes to improve how professional tennis tackles the corruption challenges it now faces.
The IRP is made up of Adam Lewis QC, Beth Wilkinson and Marc Henzelin. Read more about the Panel here.
While the factual ambit of the Independent Review does not include doping or other forms of cheating to win, it does extend to all other issues that affect the integrity of the sport, principally the situation where a player has determined in advance to deliberately lose a match or part of it. The Terms of Reference and Protocols for the IRP can be found here. In investigating the effectiveness and appropriateness of existing rules, practices and procedures in relation to integrity in the sport, the IRP will review the operation of the TACP, TIU and TIPP. Further information can be found here.
The IRP has conducted an extensive evidence gathering exercise in accordance with the Terms of Reference. This has included:
- Interviewing well over 100 individuals from across the sport, including current and former representatives from the Governing Bodies of International Tennis, players at different levels of the game, tournament organisers, officials and individuals from the TIU.
- Interviewing over 50 entities from outside the sport, including betting operators, data supply companies, gambling regulators, law enforcement agencies and academics.
- Reviewing documentary evidence provided by the Governing Bodies of International Tennis and the TIU.
- Obtaining input from various subject-matter experts.
- Conducting an analysis of data relating to the TIU’s caseload since 2009.
- Conducting a survey of players.
Paragraph 21 of the Terms of Reference provides: “Insofar as the IRP intends in its report to make criticism of individuals or organisations, the IRP will notify those individuals or organisations, who will be given a reasonable opportunity to make representations in relation to such proposed criticisms. The IRP will consider any responses received prior to producing its report.”
The IRP provided relevant parties with such notifications in July and August 2017. Recipients were afforded a reasonable opportunity to make representations to the IRP in relation to the intended criticisms. The final set of representations was received in October 2017.
One of the parties who made representations requested that a further notification be provided by the IRP. The IRP has agreed to this request. The party will be given a reasonable opportunity to make a final set of representations to the IRP. It is anticipated that these will be submitted to the IRP within the coming weeks.
Following the IRP’s receipt and consideration of the final set of representations, it will produce its Interim Report. Following the production of the Interim Report a consultation period will follow, with interested parties invited to provide their feedback to the IRP. Once the consultation feedback has been considered by the IRP, a Final Report will be produced.
The International Governing Bodies have committed to make the outcomes and recommendations of the IRP publicly available and to implement and fund all the actions recommended by the IRP.
Any questions relating to the IRP’s work should be addressed to Jonathan Ellis, the Solicitor and Secretary to the IRP, at TennisIRP@northridgelaw.com.
Last Updated 12 December 2017