Tennis: Australia steps up anti-corruption fight

Sydney (AFP) - Australian tennis authorities boosted measures to fight corruption on Friday ahead of the opening Grand Slam of 2017 after a bombshell report this year alleging widespread match-fixing in the sport.

Tennis Australia said it had bolstered its National Integrity Unit by appointing two full-time investigators from law enforcement backgrounds, an information and intelligence officer and a safety and risk manager.

It would also have anti-corruption officers at all sanctioned events, a block on access to gambling websites via its public Wi-fi at tournaments, and increased prizemoney at lower levels of the game.

The move follows a series of corruption revelations during this year's Australian Open, including that players who had reached the top 50 had been repeatedly suspected of fixing matches but had never faced action.

That sparked an independent review headed by Adam Lewis, Queen's Counsel, a London-based leading expert on sports law aimed at shaking up tennis's under-fire anti-corruption body - the Tennis Integrity Unit.

"Although we have no evidence of widespread corruption in Australian tennis, we have recognised that the potential to corrupt is there and as such we have taken extensive steps to safeguard our sport," said Tennis Australia president Steve Healy.

"We made the decision to not just sit back and wait for the independent review panel to hand down their findings but to take immediate action. Our sport needs strong measures implemented now and that's exactly what we are doing."

The 2017 Australian Open runs from Jan 16-29.