Former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash feels reports of match-fixing in tennis have been blown out of proportion, but understands the temptation faced by lower-ranked players. Talk about alleged match-fixing has dominated the Australian Open in the wake of an investigation by BuzzFeed News and the BBC .
Cash, champion at the All England Club in 1987, feels tennis has been unfairly tarnished by the reports. The Australian, though, said he understood if lower-ranked players were tempted.
"The units that have been put in place by the governing bodies are on top of this," Cash said on Thursday. "There's some stuff at lower levels, that's human nature, some players are going to have a go if they're really struggling to make a living. That is the bottom line. These players down at 200 in the world, 300 in the world, they're really struggling to make a living. Some people are going to be tempted to do the wrong thing but that's human nature.
"I'm very confident that tennis is clean and if they need to make doubly sure of that then absolutely, let's keep looking at it."
As for whether tennis should accept sponsorships with betting companies, Cash said it was tricky for the sport. The 50-year-old though said players were well aware of the rules.
"That's a really sort of grey area," Cash said. "I've had an opportunity to be involved with some betting agencies a couple of times. It's part of sport, it's big sponsorship, and it's a grey area. Players are very, very clear on they're not involved in any of the gambling. You could say the same thing about every sportsperson, whether it's football or cricket.
"Tennis players are very clear that they're not to be involved and I think this match-fixing thing is way blown out of proportion. It's come at a time, it's tarnished tennis the same as some of the cricket things, and boxing and wrestling. Tennis is not like that, absolutely not like that. I'm convinced about it. I've never heard of anything gone on. There were some rumours many years ago and I think they've really tightened that up. I think it's a bit of a storm in a teacup, though they need to keep on top of this, absolutely."
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