Sportradar – Tennis needs to be data & technology sharp in its integrity battles

first_img Share Sportradar has published its official response to last April’s ‘Independent Review of Integrity in Tennis’ commissioned by the ‘Tennis Integrity Unit’ (TIU) representing pro tennis’ governing bodies the WTA, ATP and the ITF.In its response Sportradar supports the majority of the independent panel’s recommendations, however, the leading sports data firm outlines its concerns ‘in relation to the recommendation regarding the discontinuance of data sales’.Published last April, the independent integrity review garnered high media coverage for recommending drastic changes to tennis’ operating structures and partnerships.Seeking to eliminate match-fixing at the lower levels of professional tennis, the panel recommended that tennis governing bodies drastically reduce live data information supplied to the betting sector.At present, ITF syndicated live match data is supplied by Sportradar AG, under the terms of a $70 million five-year agreement. Sportradar monitors all-levels of professional tennis including ‘Challenger’ and ‘Futures’ tournaments.Sportradar believes that the proposal would fail in practice, and would lead to irreversible negative consequences for the sport, placing its athletes at further risk of integrity harms.Seeking to help tennis’ ruling bodies and stakeholders, Sportradar proposes the following recommendationsImplement a proactive tennis-wide approach to restricting data distribution, targeting specific matches with an elevated risk of corrupt activity based on a consistent and analysis-led evaluation. This is something that Sportradaris doing as part of their integrity partnership with the ITFCreate a new body made up of representatives from tennis, betting operators and sports data companies to ensure a more concerted and collective approach to fighting corruption in tennis across related operational areas that should include the application of the above-targeted data restrictionsIncrease AV streaming coverage, where possible, to help provide reliable evidenceCreate new regulations to enable quicker sanctioning based on betting data and expert player analysisBring in targeted measures to deal with online abuse of players, especially at lower levels, enabling players to escalate concernsUse technology to target risks, streamline processes, maximise impact and enhance intelligence-led enforcement actionDavid Lampitt – SportradarDavid Lampitt, Sportradar Managing Director Group Operations, explained the factors outlined within the company’s response.“Attempting a total data black-out on a sport has never been done, or even trialled or tested before,” he said. “Counter evidence and expert analysis indicate that such an approach is likely to have a harmful effect on integrity, which would be hard to reverse if unsuccessful.“So, the Panel is staking its reputation, and that of the sport, on an uncertain ‘guess’, when there is good evidence that a different approach and an incremental process of implementing enhanced and targeted measures would be more likely to deliver successful outcomes and integrity benefits.“If the recommendations remain unchanged, they would push the betting market underground where the integrity issues would be out of sight. This may give the veneer of improving the situation but would not deal with the underlying issues. These must not be brushed under the carpet.“It’s important to point out that the relative risk that the Review attributes to the different levels of tennis is also misleading. In 2017, and consistently over the last four years, ITF tennis has, in fact, had the lowest risk of corruption across all the levels of the professional game, including the Grand Slams.“Of course, integrity risks exist across all levels. But they are most prevalent at the mid-level of the Men’s game, so the rationale for applying the most draconian measures to the ITF Men’s and Women’s competitions and recommending relatively modest changes at the other levels doesn’t tally with the evidence.“Ultimately our interests, like the Panel’s and other stakeholders involved, including the tennis governing bodies as well as the betting companies, are focused on safeguarding a clean sport. We want to be transparent about our submissions as we believe the evidence is important to ensure decisions are not taken that may have unintended and harmful consequences for the sport.” Submit StumbleUpon Sharelast_img read more

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Shobhaa De hails ‘hero’ P.V. Sindhu’s Olympic feat

first_imgAuthor Shobhaa De, who has been drawing flak for her unwarranted comments on the Indian contingent at the Rio Olympics, described shuttler P.V. Sindhu as “24 carat gold” and called her a “hero” after she clinched a silver medal at the event.De went out and about to praise Sindhu, who bagged the Silver medal in the women’s singles badminton competition of the Rio Olympics on Friday.”Bravo Sindhu. You are a hero,” De wrote in one tweet, and followed it up by writing: “24 carat gold!!!! We love you.”In a tweet on Saturday, she shared a news article featuring the success story of Sindhu, Dipa Karmakar and Sakshi Malik. (Also read: ‘It took a woman athlete to slap Shobhaa De’. Twitter cheers Sakshi Malik after Bronze medal)”Rio ki Teen Deviyaan… respect,” De captioned the link, and later suggested casting Deepika Padukone in a potential biopic on Sindhu.”P.V. Sindhu biopic. Who better than Deepika Padukone???”After her selfie tweet on India’s delegates to Rio, De wrote on Thursday: “P.V. SINDHU Silver Princess?”Soon, she tried to salvage the situation by two new tweets. “Silver minted by Sindhu. Chandi ke baad Sona!!!” and the other “Go for gold, girl!!!”She was criticised for belittling Sindhu’s achievement and betraying a defeatist mentality about Sindhu’s chances against Marin in the final.Before this, De had slammed Indian athletes for their medal no-show at the Rio Olympics. (Also read: India Today Exclusive: I’ve done it, says PV Sindhu after Rio Silver)advertisement”Goal of Team India at the Olympics: Rio jao (Go to Rio). Selfies lo (Take selfies). Khaali haat wapas aao (Return empty-handed). What a waste of money and opportunity. Only hope? Dependable Abhinav Bindra. Aim for gold, champion!”She was widely trolled for her comment.Bravo Sindhu. You are a hero! pic.twitter.com/tHFi392Hj4 Shobhaa De (@DeShobhaa) August 19, 2016P.V. Sindhu: 24 carat gold!!!! We love you. Shobhaa De (@DeShobhaa) August 19, 2016last_img read more

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