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An ex-tennis player from South America has told the BBC that match-fixing is commonplace and even some elite players are “a little bit dirty in some way”.

He also claimed fixing is not just limited to lower-ranked professionals and is “a secret that everybody knows”.

The player, who requested anonymity, said tennis authorities “know who is doing it” but are unwilling to stop it.

The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) said it rejects “any suggestion that evidence of match-fixing has been suppressed”.

“We invite the player behind the allegations to make contact with the TIU and share the information he claims to have,” the TIU added in a statement.

The allegations come after a BBC and BuzzFeed News investigation revealed suspected illegal betting in tennis over the past decade.

In an exclusive interview with BBC’s World Have Your Say team, the player, now a coach, detailed how matches are allegedly fixed and the lengths criminals go to in order to remain undetected.

“This is like a secret on the tour that everybody knows, but we don’t talk about it,” he said. “We just see it and keep working.”

The player claimed there are “three big groups” controlling betting in tennis and payments to players are made using cash, with no bank-to-bank transfers allowed.

“Each group has many guys who go to talk to players,” he said. “They have many guys inside the circuit. Also, they have many accounts. They have 50-60 accounts where they place small money. At the end, it’s huge money. It’s really big.”

The BBC subsequently attempted to contact the player again to ask for clarification on exactly how much a player could earn from match-fixing in a year, but he was unavailable. (BBC)