Yana Sizikova, a Russian tennis player, was detained as part of an investigation into match-fixing at last year’s French Open. The 26-year-old doubles specialist was seized at this year’s event on Thursday and is being held in Paris.
Sizikova, ranked 101st in doubles, has yet to respond. The inquiry into potential match-fixing began in October, following allegations of “organized fraud” and “sports corruption.” A source close to the probe stated that the investigation was looking at numerous players, including Sizikova.
It was reported shortly after Sizikova and American Madison Brengle were eliminated in the first round of the event by Romanians Andreea Mitu and Patricia Maria Tigin. Suspicions were aroused, according to reports, after betting organizations discovered that hundreds of thousands of euros had been placed on a break of serve in the second set.
The Paris prosecutor’s office confirmed to the Associated Press on Friday that Sizikova had been detained on allegations of “sports bribery and organized fraud,” but provided no other details.
She was allegedly detained as she exited her massage session after her first-round match against new colleague Yekaterina Alexandrova. They were defeated in straight sets by Storm Sanders and Ajla Tomjanovic of Australia. The hotel room of Sizikova was also searched.
The French Tennis Federation acknowledged Sizikova’s detention but declined to say further. The Russian Tennis Federation also confirmed that she was detained. Sizikova, who is ranked 765th in the world in singles, participated in the French Open Grand Slam for the first time last year.
Match-fixing is a severe problem in professional tennis, and several investigations have resulted in lifelong bans for several players. However, these bans have typically included low-ranked players participating in lower-tier events in order to make a career from the sport.