According to judicial officials, the Russian tennis player who was arrested on suspicion of match-fixing at last year’s French Open was released from police custody on Friday.
Yana Sizikova, who was arrested in Paris on Thursday after competing in a French Open doubles match, was not formally charged following questioning, but the Paris prosecutor’s office stated she is still under investigation.
According to her lawyer, Frederic Belot, the 26-year-old Sizikova denies the claims. Sizikova wants to launch a defamation suit, he told the Associated Press.
Sizikova was arrested for “sports bribery and organized fraud for activities anticipated to have occurred in September 2020,” according to the prosecutor’s office.
A French police squad specializing in betting fraud and match-fixing launched the investigation in October. It has already collaborated with Belgian authorities in the investigation of shady tennis matches at the lowest levels of the game.
Because the investigation is continuing, the French tennis federation said it could not disclose any other details.
The International Tennis Integrity Agency, which investigates match-fixing in the sport, declined to comment on the specifics of the case, but told the Associated Press that “the ITIA and law enforcement in France have been in contact on a regular basis.”
In a phone interview with the Associated Press, Sizikova’s lawyer said she was “very shocked.”
“She was detained as if she were a criminal. She claims to be innocent and does not want me to help her during her interrogation because she sees herself as a victim “Belot remarked.
Belot said he only started representing Sizikova on Friday when the player’s parents approached him. When the case was initiated last year, he said Sizikova contacted the ITIA to deny any misconduct.
The investigation was based on accusations surrounding a match at Roland Garros last year, according to the prosecutor’s office. It didn’t say what kind of match it was looking for. There were strange betting patterns in the first round of a women’s doubles match on September 30, according to German tabloid Die Welt and French sports daily L’Equipe.
On that day, Sizikova and her American partner Madison Brengle faced Romanian opponents Andreea Mitu and Patricia Maria Tig on Court No. 10. In the sixth game of the second set, Sizikova was broken to love serving, during which she double-faulted twice.
According to Le Parisien, tens of thousands of Euros were bet on the Romanian players winning the game with multiple operators in different nations.
Sizikova, who is ranked 101st in doubles and 765th in singles, was arrested on Thursday after losing in the first round of the Roland Garros doubles event, according to the newspaper. Authorities searched Sizikova’s hotel room, according to the publication.
The French Open was held in late September and early October last year, after being postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.