Belgian police on Tuesday held 13 people as part of a major international investigation into match-fixing in tennis, barely a month after a report warned of a “tsunami” of corruption in the lower levels of the sport.
Officers swooped on 21 addresses in Belgium, while simultaneous raids were launched on properties in the US, Germany, France, Bulgaria, Slovakia and the Netherlands.
The raids were part of an international probe into an Armenian-Belgian criminal network suspected of bribing players to throw games.
Belgian prosecutors said the matches involved were on the low-level Futures and Challenger circuits, away from the gaze of television coverage and where meager prize money leaves players susceptible to backhanders.
The “investigation showed that an Armenian-Belgian criminal organization actively would have bribed professional tennis players from 2014 to the present day,” the prosecutors said in a statement.