PARIS – A Russian tennis player suspected of fixing matches last year has been arrested during this year’s French Open, her lawyer told The Associated Press on Friday.
The player, the 765th of Russia Yana Sizikova, denied the allegations, according to her lawyer, Frédéric Belot. He told The Associated Press that Sizikova wanted to file a defamation complaint.
The Paris prosecutor’s office confirmed to the AP that an “international player” was in custody, but he did not identify her. She was arrested Thursday evening on charges of “sports corruption and organized fraud for acts likely to have been committed in September 2020”. “, said the prosecution.
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An investigation was opened last October by a French police unit specializing in fraudulent bets and match-fixing. He has previously worked with Belgian authorities investigating suspicious matches at lower levels of professional tennis.
The French tennis federation said it could not provide further information as the investigation is ongoing.
The International Tennis Integrity Agency, which is investigating match-fixing in sport, declined to comment on the details of the case, but said in a message to the AP that “there was an affair continues between the ITIA and the police in France “.
Speaking to the PA in a telephone interview, her lawyer said Sizikova was “extremely shocked”.
“She was taken into custody like a criminal. She says she is innocent and did not want me to assist her during her interrogation as she considers herself a victim, “Belot said.
Belot said he only started representing Sizikova on Friday after being approached by the player’s parents. He said Sizikova contacted ITIA when the case was opened last year to deny any wrongdoing.
The prosecutor’s office said the investigation centered on suspicions about a match at Roland Garros last year. He did not specify the match. German newspaper Die Welt and French sports daily L’Equipe said at the time that there were suspicious betting patterns in the first round of a women’s doubles match on September 30.