Sportradar says critics 'misunderstand' tennis relationship following betting scandal report

By David Cook
A representative of Sportradar thinks there is a “misunderstanding” of its partnership with the International Tennis Federation (ITF), after its data system was manipulated in a tennis betting scam.

An investigation by the Guardian revealed that a number of tennis umpires had been secretly banned or suspended for manipulating Sportradar’s data system being used for matches played on the ITF’s Futures Tour.

The umpires are alleged to have taken bribes from betting syndicates to deliberately delay the inputting of scores into the system via an IBM tablet.

This enabled gamblers to place wagers before the bookmakers using the system had altered their odds on live betting markets, while the gamblers knew the outcome of the next point.

Alex Inglot, Sportradar’s director of communications and public affairs, told TotallyGaming: “There is a misunderstanding among many that have criticised us about the betting world and what Sportradar does.

“Sportradar did not create an appetite for betting on tennis - it existed way before 2012 [when the deal was announced]. Back then it was a bit of a ‘wild west’ – scores were inaccurate, data collection was slow and would arrive in different places at different times.

“We feel that this week’s stories in the Guardian have not really given us an opportunity to express our position, and there is a sense that those that have been critical of our relationship with tennis do not really understand it.”

The Guardian said the ITF’s deal with Sportradar is worth $14m per year and TotallyGaming claimed Inglot said the value of the deal had been exaggerated.

It was announced in December that the deal had been extended for five years through 2021.

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