(NEWSER) – First FIFA, now this? Yep, evidence has emerged of possible widespread match-fixing in the pristine world of professional tennis.

According to documents obtained by the BBC and Buzzfeed, investigators hired by the Association of Tennis Professionals uncovered signs of corrupt betting syndicates and gamblers buying off well-ranked players—but little was done to fix the problem.

"There was a core of about 10 players who we believed were the most common perpetrators that were at the root of the problem," says Mark Phillips, an investigator in a landmark 2007 enquiry. "The evidence was really strong." Yet tennis officials shelved their conclusions, saying lawyers advised them that strict new rules couldn't be applied to players retroactively. Among the accusations:

  • Corrupt gamblers have contacted players in their hotels and offered them $50,000 or more to fix a match.
  • Gambling syndicates in Russia and Italy then placed "highly suspicious bets on scores of matches—including at Wimbledon and the French Open," says Buzzfeed. 

Photo: Getty Images

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