|The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) is to erect a barrier, or what it calls a 'firewall,' between itself and the betting industry in a response to allegations of match fixing last October. Suspicion of impropriety surfaced when Internet bookmakers noted a disproportional betting on certain low-key matches. Suggestions of insider dealing have forced the ATP to act decisively in an attempt to protect the besmirched image of the sport. As a result will be closed to everyone, from medics to VIPs (and certainly no media).|
'There are plenty of people who can walk into a players' lounge and see someone throwing up or re-attaching a right leg,' said an ATP spokesman. 'Information like that can easily be passed on and used.'
The governing body, which has been taking legal advice on the best way to enforce the measures, have warned of severe penalties for match fixers. The ATP will impose three-year bans and fines of up to $100,000, plus the amount involved the bet, on any player whose coach, trainer or family are found culpable.