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The number of suspicious tennis matches decreased in 2023. There were none at Grand Slam tournaments

LONDON (AP) — The number of suspicious tennis matches around the world went down for the second consecutive year, and there were none at any of the four Grand Slam tournaments in 2023, according to an annual review by the International Tennis Integrity Agency released Friday.

The ITIA received 101 match alerts — which aren’t proof of match-fixing but an indication “something inappropriate may have occurred,” the agency said — in 2023, down from 109 in 2022 and 113 in 2021.

In addition to no such alerts at the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon or the U.S. Open, the ITIA reported none from any 500- or 1000-level events on the WTA or ATP tours.

There were 41 people sanctioned in 2023 under the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program, including nine who received lifetime bans from the sport, the ITIA said.

At least 16 of those punished last year, four of whom were suspended for life, were investigated in connection with a match-fixing syndicate in Belgium. They were linked to the criminal case of Grigor Sargsyan, the leader of the syndicate.

Jennie Price, chair of the Tennis Integrity Supervisory Board, called that “the most complex corruption case tennis has ever encountered” in Friday’s review from the ITIA.

A total of more than 7,200 doping tests were administered in tennis last season, including in- and out-of-competition and blood or urine. Thirteen people were sanctioned last year, although not all were because of tests that took place in 2023.

The most prominent names on the ITIA's list of those sanctions were two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep, for a positive test later determined to have been caused by a tainted supplement, and Jenson Brooksby, for missing drug tests. Both had their original penalties reduced.

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AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis