A smartphone app and an enhanced education programme lie at the heart of the Tennis Integrity Unit's latest efforts to control match-fixing.

Tennis corruption returned to the news agenda this week when 18-year-old Oliver Anderson - the reigning junior champion at the Australian Open -was charged with distorting "a betting outcome" by Victoria Police.

Since the establishment of the TIU in 2008, its full-time staff - which has doubled over the past year to 10 - has been dominated by ex-policeman working as investigators. But the scale of the problem has led to new measures intended to cut off the supply of potential fixers at source.

"We will be appointing a dedicated training and education manager in early 2017," said a TIU spokesman. "A new smartphone app has also been introduced which provides direct access to the TIU online player education program in six languages: English, Italian, French, Spanish, Russian and Chinese."


The number of "suspicious betting alerts" flagged by bookmakers continues to rise year on year, as criminal gangs seek to take advantage of the minuscule prize pots operating at the lowest level of the game. Anderson's alleged fix, for instance, related to the loss of a set in his first-round victory at the $50,000 Traralgon Challenger in October.

About one match in 500 prompts further investigation, with the vast majority operating out of the spotlight in far-flung places. "There has been a consistent focus of concern on the ITF Futures and ATP Challenger tours, which are considered most at risk," said the spokesman.

To call $10,000 Futures tournaments "professional" is itself a stretch, but live-score data for these events has been available to bookmakers since December 2015, when the International Tennis Federation sold these rights to the Swiss firm Sportsradar for a reported $70 million.

The Anderson case followed last month's large-scale police operation in Spain, where 34 people were arrested in connection with 17 alleged fixes. "If people are caught and charged, I see that as being a positive thing," said Andy Murray this week. "If it's going on and nothing is happening about it that's much worse for the future of the sport."