Oliver Anderson, who won the 2016 Australian Open boys title, has been charged by the Australian police in a match-fixing related incident following an investigation. The Australian teenager had allegedly lost a set on purpose in the 2016 Traralgon Challenger event.
Australian media reported that the 18-year-old had been charged for "throwing" the first set in the Traralgon Challenger against countryman Harrison Lombe. Anderson conceded the first set
"Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit detectives and bookmakers assisted with the investigation.The Queensland man was charged with engaging in conduct that corrupts a betting outcome," the police statement read.
This is not the first time that there has been some controversy before the first major of the year. Ahead of last year's Australian Open, a report by the BBC had said that 16 players in the ATP top-50 had been flagged by Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) for similar reasons.
There were even allegations that 12-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic had thrown a match when he was a teenager. The Serbian had dismissed the allegation, calling it "absurd".
“Very disappointing to hear, that, especially considering the fact that he's young and won the junior grand slam. Obviously, the quality is there and the potential is there," Djokovic said after progressing to the semi-finals of the Qatar Open.
Although world No 1 Andy Murray refused to comment about the Anderson case he did say that the problem of match-fixing needed to be tackled with "severe punishments".
“It's disappointing for the game anytime something like that comes out. However, if people are caught and charged, I see that as being a positive thing. If it's happening, there should be the most severe punishments for whoever is involved in it," Murray said.
The Australian Open will start on Jan 16.