Tennis Match-Fixing Gang Dismantled In Spain By Police

Some 80 people are being investigated by Spanish police over suspected tennis match-fixing

It is unclear whether the player is among the arrested or investigated.

A total of €167,000 ($192,000) in cash was seized during the raids, along with credit cards, luxury vehicles and a shotgun.

In a statement Europol said: "The suspects bribed professional players to guarantee predetermined results and used the identities of thousands of citizens to bet on the pre-arranged games".

Europol said the Spanish Civil Guard made the arrests after looking into alleged match-fixing by an organised Armenian criminal gang.

Among the 15 arrests were leaders of the criminal organisation, while a further 68 people have been investigated, the Spanish Civil Guard revealed in a statement.

The Civil Guard operation began "after a denouncement by the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU), an worldwide anti-corruption organization which is responsible for protecting integrity in the world of tennis".

One player, whose identity was not revealed, competed in the 2018 US Open.

The European Sport Security Association has frequented listed tennis as the sport with the most suspicious betting alerts in its reports.

Police have accused Spanish player Marc Fornell-Mestres, whose highest career singles ranking was 236 in 2007, of acting as the link between players and the Armenian ring that bribed them. "They then gave the order for bets to be laid both nationally and internationally".

Europol say at least 97 matches from those tournaments were fixed.

It was a warning by the Tennis Integrity Unit in 2017 that prompted Spanish authorities to begin the investigation.

"Once the bribe had been paid, the Armenians went to the match venues to use their imposing muscle to make sure that the player kept their end of the deal".

More than 40 bank accounts used by those allegedly involved with the ring were blocked by authorities. They also gave orders for "other members of the group" to place bets at the "national and global level".