SW19 diary: Coy WTA raises fear with lack of transparency

In May last year, a review into the integrity of tennis concluded that the professional game "is neither systematically nor institutionally corrupt" but
The Independent yesterday obtained the clearest evidence yet that the tennis authorities are involved in a systematic and institutional cover-up of information related to suspected malpractice.

Larry Scott is the chief executive of the women's tour, the WTA, and sources insist that he is one of the "good guys" who has long wanted any corruption rooted out, and for the game to be transparent about it.

Scott, 44, a former player, also has a record of being a candid, straight-talking operator. The following three on-record quotes from him early last year (before the integrity review) illustrate that.

1) "I've had players come to me to give me specific information about approaches that have been made to them. They've done the right thing in coming to me."

2) "We have got particular concerns about Russia, there's a lot of activity that comes out of there but it is not the only country."

3) "One has to assume that people running organised crime would be involved in trying to gain an advantage by corrupting the competition."

Scott also told a briefing last year attended by The Independent that "several" women's tennis matches had been investigated, "and we haven't found any evidence of any wrong-doing. I don't think we have a problem in women's tennis but I'm very much aware of the potential threat."

Fast-forward to yesterday, and a press conference here. With suspicious betting leading to markets being cancelled for a men's first-round match here this week, The Independent raised the issue of cover-ups with Scott, a former ATP employee who is about to leave the WTA for a new job.

We asked specifically about the number of cases investigated in women's tennis in the past five years, and the outcomes of those cases. His answer was crystal clear. "In terms of pointing to the number of cases, I don't have that off the top of my head that I can point to, but I'm happy to get you that information," it says in the official transcript.

This was at midday. At 5pm, an email from the WTA claimed Scott did not say he would provide details of cases over the past five years, and that he was, in fact "referencing information in the original review."

Nonsense. It was clear to a room of around 50 journalists what he had said. The authorities, including governing bodies of tours that effectively represent the players who might have been up to no good, simply do not want to tell anyone what they know. The Independent has already been told by an impeccable source that the outcomes of investigations into 45 dodgy matches (of unspecified gender, but most if not all involving men) will almost certainly never be made public.

The irony in Scott not providing the information he said he would is that women's tennis, by all accounts, is largely "clean". Few if any women have been called before the authorities and quizzed over suspect games, as The Independent knows has happened with some male players.

The other irony in the situation is that tennis is doing much, much more about potential corruption than most sports. But of course the game dreads the negative headlines that a proper catharsis entails.

As the WTA also said to The Independent last night: "As a matter of policy, the Tour does not comment on any past or on-going investigations that may or may not have occurred."

If that's not a cover-up or at the least a lack of transparency, then what is?

Wimbledon waddle

The marvellously helpful stewards here don't just assist humans. The Honorary Stewards' in-house bulletin yesterday revealed how officials parted the long queue outside Car Park 10 to allow a proud mother duck to lead her 10 ducklings into Wimbledon Park. Ahhhhh.

Jock on! Murray gets more British the better he plays

A website that is monitoring perceptions of Andy Murray's identity shows he is getting more British and less Scottish in the public's view the more successful he becomes. Further details can be found at: www.andymurrayometer.com.

The crowds are also getting behind Braveheart, almost as much as a small group of raucous Aussies had urged on Lleyton Hewitt earlier.

Wimbledon quotes

"Party every day until 6am, sleep during the day, and now I play these two days."

Svetlana Kuznetsova on her intensive physical and mental preparation for the tournament

"I want to go shopping and see London. Not tourism, though, because you get tired. I need just two, three hours to spend some cash."

... Kuznetsova again

"I put it in its own pile, away from the bills."

... wrote Andy Murray on his twitter page upon receiving a letter from the Queen

"I love playing in London, it's a lot of fun for me. It's like a second home. It's good to be back in the third round again."

Lleyton Hewitt speaking after trouncing Juan Martin del Potro

"He is one of my idols, and I say, 'You are in very good shape again, so I'm happy for you and good luck'."

Del Potro stays positive despite defeat

"It does not surprise me most of your players need wild cards. We're having the same problems in Australia."

Hewitt can relate to the problems with British tennis

"I've always been large, always been tall. I don't know anything about small."

Venus Williams believes that bigger is better, after easing through to the third round

Weather

Today Warm, but with showers and possible thunderstorms. Maximum temperature of 25C.

Outlook Warm with light showers tomorrow, again a high of 25C. Sunday will also be at risk of light showers, with a high of 26C.

TV times

BBC 2: 12.00-15.25, 17.50-20.00.

BBC 1: 13.45-18.00.

Highlights:

BBC 2: 20.00-21.00

Additional coverage on BBCHD and BBCi

News
people
Sport
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
music
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
voices
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam