Spain arrests 83 people, including 28 players, in fixing probe

Spanish authorities arrest 28 tennis players in match-fixing probe

Spanish police say 28 professional tennis players, including one who participated in last year's U.S. Open, have been linked to an global organized group accused of fixing matches.

As many as 28 professional tennis players are being investigated for possible match-fixing offenses, with one player thought to be a Grand Slam star.

Its officers searched 11 addresses in nine Spanish provinces, finding €167,000 (£151,000) in cash, as well as a handgun, stolen identity documents, jewellery, more than 50 electronic devices and five high-end vehicles.

The Armenian gang bribed players into fixing matches, according to authorities.

No other names had been immediately disclosed by authorities. Fornell-Mestres was ranked 1007th in singles and 772th in doubles at the end of 2018.

The investigation started in 2017 after the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) grew concerned about "irregular activities" relating to pre-arranged matches in the tournaments.

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"Once they bribed the players, the Armenian network members attended the matches to ensure that the tennis players complied with what was previously agreed, and gave orders to other members of the group to go ahead with the bets placed at national and worldwide level". Authorities said members of the Armenian ring attended the matches to ensure the players complied with what was previously agreed.

At least 97 ITF Futures and Challenger matches were fixed, it said.

In total, 83 people were implicated in the probe, including the alleged leaders of the Armenian group.

The investigation had resulted in the freezing of 42 bank accounts and the confiscation of various properties.

None of the arrested people has been named.

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