Yana Sizikova Russian tennis player French open match fixing arrest: Doubles specialist accused of conspiring with bettors to commit sports fraud & corruption.
Russian tennis player Yana Sizikova has been arrested on match-fixing charges at the French Open last year.
The 26 year old international female tennis player who is ranked No. 765 in the world and 101st in doubles was arrested Thursday on charges of ‘sports bribery and organized fraud’ for acts suspected to have occurred last September, AP reported.
A ‘shocked’ Sizikova denied the charges and intends to ‘sue for defamation’ according to her lawyer, Frederic Belot.
‘She was placed in custody like a criminal,’ Belot told France’s Le Parisien. ‘She says she is innocent and did not want me to assist her during her questioning because she considers herself like a victim.’
Come Friday, the Russian tennis player was released from custody.
Anyone missing the Sizikova fix from last year?
Update: she partnered Alexandrova and will play on the 3rd of June against Storm/Alja
Prepare your accounts! pic.twitter.com/W01bqK1oOk
— Ardeal (@UnArdeal) June 1, 2021
‘Abnormally large bets’
The charges stem from a doubles match at last year’s French Open that was delayed to September. The charges stem from an investigation that French prosecutors announced last October after sports betting bookmakers raised suspicions of ‘organised fraud’ and ‘sports corruption’.
A source familiar with the investigation told AP last year that a series of ‘abnormally large bets’ amounting to ‘tens of thousands of euros’ raised flags for authorities.
France’s L’Equipe and Germany’s Die Welt reported that the suspicious betting took place on a match involving Sizikova and American partner Madison Brengle vs. Romania’s Andreea Mitu and Patricia Maria Tig. Large bets were placed on Mitu and Maria Tig winning the fifth game of the second set.
Sizikova served that game, double faulting twice. She was broken to love, and the Romanians went on to a 7-6, 6-4 win.
Match making in tennis
Sizikova was back in Paris this week to compete at the French Open. She’s ranked No. 765 in the world and 101st in doubles. Sizikova and partner Ekaterina Alexandrova lost their first-round match to Australia’s Storm Sanders and Ajla Tomljanović on Thursday. Le Parisien reports that authorities searched Sizikova’s hotel room after the match.
Sizikova could face up to five years in prison and a €500,000 fine if she is found guilty of sports corruption.
Sizikova has earned a total of $206,617 prize money over her 11-year career and until she improved her ranking in recent years, had spent much of her career competing at lower level tournaments on the ITF circuit the Guardian reported.
Sizikova, 26, has had a career-high ranking of 336 in the women’s singles game, which was achieved back in June 2016. In doubles, her highest ranking was at No 89, which she reached in March last year according to Russian news wire Tass.
Match-fixing is recognised as a serious problem in professional tennis, and a number of investigations have resulted in lifetime bans for some players.
However these bans have usually involved poorly ranked players who are competing at lower-tier tournaments, as they struggle to make a living through the sport.