Tennis' governing bodies have acknowledged the existence of "vulnerabilities" after an independent review into possible corruption concluded the sport faces a "serious integrity problem".
The four organisations principally responsible for the governance of professional tennis – the ATP, WTA, ITF and Grand Slam Board – appointed an independent review panel in early 2016 to address betting-related and other integrity issues facing the sport, after BuzzFeed and the BBC claimed to have uncovered evidence of suspected match-fixing through a joint investigation.
An interim report was released on Wednesday by the panel, led by Adam Lewis QC, revealing that no evidence had been found to indicate that the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) had acted to cover up breaches of integrity.
The report did, however, warn that integrity issues were "particularly acute and pervasive at the lower... and at middle levels of the sport, especially on the men's circuits".
One TIU investigator described the extent of the problem at some lower-level events as a "tsunami".
A statement released on behalf of senior figures at the WTA, ATP, ITF, Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and US Open accepted the findings and recognised existing shortcomings.
"The governing bodies of professional tennis (ATP, WTA, ITF and Grand Slam Board) announced today their agreement with the principles of the findings of the Independent Review Panel's (IRP) interim report," read the statement.
"The IRP was set up by the governing bodies to investigate thoroughly allegations of corruption in the sport. We are pleased with the panel's findings that they have seen no evidence of any institutional corruption or cover-up by the tennis authorities or the Tennis Integrity Unit.
"We are also pleased that the IRP has recognised the positive actions taken by the sport to address the integrity issues it faces: 'The International Governing Bodies are to be commended for the introduction of rules specifically aimed at dealing with the integrity problems faced by tennis.'
"However, we also recognise that there are vulnerabilities, particularly at the lower levels of tennis. We are committed to seizing the opportunity to address these concerns through firm and decisive action. We support the IRP's identification that the betting industry's role is critical to ensure that betting operators play their part.
"Following an initial review of the interim report we confirm our agreement in principle with the package of measures and recommendations proposed by the IRP. These include the removal of opportunities and incentives for breaches in integrity, the establishment of a restructured, more independent TIU, enhanced education, expanded rules, and greater co-operation and collaboration with the betting industry and broader sports community.
"Each of these areas now needs detailed exploration and analysis. Our immediate priority is to provide the input requested by the IRP by carefully reviewing, considering and responding to the 12 recommendations put forward for consultation, ahead of publication of the final report.
"At the same time we will continue to implement existing initiatives to enhance and expand tennis’s governance of the sport in relation to betting-related integrity.
"In commissioning the IRP to provide an independent review of betting-related integrity in the sport, we committed to making appropriate resources available to carry out that work. We are confident that this investment in time and financial resources will substantially improve the ability of the sport to meet the challenges it currently faces.
"The governing bodies thank the IRP for their hard and important work."
|Thurston rules out retirement U-turn|
|Pumas look to build on Jaguares progress in Rugby Championship|
|Super Cup glory will make Atletico strong - Simeone|
|Rugby Championship 2018: True status of Erasmus´ Springboks rebuild to be discovered|
|LaLiga 2018-19: Coutinho ready to be Barca´s next Brazilian superstar|
|Serie A 2018-19: Can Napoli, Roma, Inter or AC Milan overhaul Juventus?|
|Braves survive skirmish, loss of Acuna to top Marlins|
|Robertson handed surprise start, Hodge gets nod for Bledisloe opener|
|MLS Review: Wayne´s World as Rooney inspires DC United, LAFC win|
|Djokovic and Dimitrov survive but Zverev loses in Cincinnati|
|Rain halts Halep as Muguruza´s defence ends and Wozniacki retires|
|Ozil´s racism claims nonsense, says Kroos|
|Malcom lost for words after Camp Nou bow alongside Messi|
|Injured Fowler withdraws from play-off opening Northern Trust|
|Marcelo happy with Madrid squad amid transfer talk|
|Foles isn´t worried about Brady´s handshake snub|
|Eli Manning on Jalen Ramsey´s comments: ´Who?´|
|Cerezo: Atletico´s objective is to reach Champions League final|
|Judge´s recovery taking longer than expected|
|Ronaldo in the past as Casemiro backs Lopetegui after Madrid loss|
|With our ´cojones´ Atletico can beat anyone – Costa revels in Super Cup glory|
|Super Cup loss doesn´t change Real Madrid transfer policy, says Lopetegui|
|Griezmann: Super Cup triumph justifies staying at Atletico|
|Valverde defends Suarez performances|
|Simeone´s eclipses Aragones as Atletico´s top coach with seventh title|
|Rockets GM: LeBron James is ´the greatest ever´|
|Salihamidzic, Kovac not standing in way of Rudy exit|
|Jaguars DB Ramsey calls Bills QB Allen ´trash´|
|Real Madrid 2 Atletico Madrid 4 (after extra time): Saul stunner seals Super Cup glory|
|Ex-India Test captain Wadekar dies aged 77|
|Gundogan ready to step up in absence of injured De Bruyne|
|Djokovic overcomes illness to see off Mannarino|
|Diego Costa nets fastest UEFA Super Cup goal ever|
|Everton feared missing out on Mina after World Cup strike|
|Barcelona 3 Boca Juniors 0: Messi, Malcom net as Barca win Joan Gamper Trophy|
|All Blacks stick with Barrett as Mo´unga misses out altogether|
|Modric benched for UEFA Super Cup clash with Atletico Madrid|
|Cipriani charged with assault after Jersey nightclub incident|
|Hamburg 1 Bayern Munich 4: Wagner and Muller hit braces in comeback victory|
|WATCH: Messi scores first goal as Barcelona captain|
|Iniesta, Xavi and Puyol were great teachers, says new Barcelona captain Messi|
|Moses retires from international football|
|Goals, assists, set-pieces - The stats that show De Bruyne is almost irreplaceable for City|
|Bergeron wins mammoth 24-man U.S. Amateur play-off|
|Hart to Burnley "not rocket science", says Dyche|
|Leipzig, Schalke reject Rudy transfer rumours|
|Yedlin knee injury not serious, Newcastle confirm|
|Bartomeu satisfied with Barcelona squad amid Pogba links|
|Kevin De Bruyne suffers knee injury|
|Steelers QB Roethlisberger in concussion protocol|
|Kehrer to PSG not complete, say Schalke|
|Hopoate handed 10-year ban from NSWRL|
|Is this worth it? Injuries prompted Te´o to consider future|
|Croatia hero Subasic retires from international football|
|Iniesta makes it two in two for Vissel Kobe|
|Chelsea send out defensive duo on loan|
|Zaha 2023: Palace star means more than goals|
|De Jong set for Ajax stay despite Barcelona interest|
|Serena ´still at the very beginning´ of comeback|
|Ajax can benefit from Mourinho approach - Blind|
|Foley not convinced by reports All Blacks will drop Barrett|
|Zaha signs Crystal Palace extension|
|Burnley midfielder O´Neill makes A-League loan move|
|Godin yet to renew with Atletico Madrid amid transfer interest|
|Federer ´feeling better every day´ after Wimbledon disappointment|
|Kante comfortable with surprise new Chelsea role|
|Rugby Championship 2018: The numbers behind New Zealand´s dominance|
|LaLiga 2018-19: Bale ready to be Madrid´s shining light after five years in Ronaldo´s shadow|
|Rodgers unimpressed by absence of ´fit´ Boyata|
|Braves´ Acuna Jr. has arrived as a true MLB star|