POLICE in Spain have arrested 34 people in connection with a suspected match-fixing ring in both Spain and Portugal. The arrested include six tennis players, the country’s interior ministry said, without identifying any of the individuals. They are accused of deliberately arranging the loss of tennis games in at least 17 different events. Authorities said their earnings from the manipulation were over €500,000 (£420,420). A police spokesperson told the AFP news agency that players were offered between €500 (£419) and €1,000 (£837) to throw matches. “Sometimes they promised €500 and in the end only paid €50. The players were above all the victims,” he added. The players involved are relatively lower-ranked – all are outside the top 800 worldwide. In January, a joint investigation by the BBC and Buzzfeed News found widespread evidence of match-fixing at the top levels of world tennis. The revelations included 16 players who have ranked in the top 50 during the past decade, but were repeatedly flagged to the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) over suspicions they had thrown matches. All of the players, including winners of Grand Slam titles, were allowed to continue competing.
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