WTA plans to adopt harsher penalties for match-fixing
WTA: no indication of fixing but rules changing
ZURICH, Switzerland -- The WTA Tour is adopting harsher penalties for match-fixing, although it says there is no sign of players gambling or rigging outcomes in tennis.
Starting next year, a player caught fixing a match could be fined $100,000 and suspended. The length of suspensions wasn't announced.
Several players at the Swisscom Challenge tournament doubted that match-rigging could happen on tour.
"Absolutely not,'' French Open and U.S. Open champion Justine Henin-Hardenne said.
No. 1-ranked Kim Clijsters urged investigations into recent published reports that there was suspicious gambling on an ATP Tour men's match.
"It is definitely a very serious problem that has to be dealt with now,'' Clijsters said. "These things could definitely influence tennis, even if it is only in the ATP and not the WTA.
"There will always be comparisons between men's and women's tennis. It is good the ATP is taking steps to block it out as soon as possible.''
The ATP says it has been aware for some time of rumors, primarily in the gambling industry, about some irregular patterns in tennis.
The ATP recently got permission from the online gambling company ******* to see its clients' records, part of an effort to make sure players aren't involved in fixing matches.