COLUMN: Tennis the latest to be dragged through the sporting mire

Bowls.

Bowls.

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Flicking through the channels on a miserable January midweek day you may have come across World Indoor Bowls being televised on the BBC.

Granted, it may not set many pulses racing but it is sport of a different kind - one that is a gentle reminder that not everything is centred around big personalities and bigger salaries.

It is in stark contrast to the recent events of match-fixing allegations in the world of tennis which would have come as no surprise to many sport-lovers.

After all, it has become a far too familiar pattern for fans over the past decade.

High-class sport is awash with money nowadays and where there is money, there is almost always the threat of corruption occurring.

World number one Novak Djokovic was forced to bat away questions of his potential involvement in the scandal earlier this week, which goes to show how real the problem truly is.

The Serb lost a Paris Masters tie in 2007 to Frenchman Fabrice Santoro, ranked 36 places below him.

Djokovic said: “You can pick any match that you like that the top player lost and just create a story out of it.

“I think it’s not supported by any kind of proof, any evidence, any facts.

“It’s just speculation, so I don’t think there is a story about it.”

Despite Djokovic openly denying the claim, there are players who did engage in match-fixing and although it is depressing to read of these kind of stories it is surely a positive that such corruption is being brought to the public’s attention.

It’s the latest in a long line of sporting corruption of late.

Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini are arguably the most high-profile examples of corruption in sport.

The pair have dragged the beautiful game’s name through the mud and it is unlikely to be a matter that is settled any time soon.

Other sports such as cycling have also come under the spotlight understandably given its history with regards to drug cheats.

Lance Armstrong’s uncovering as a serial offender back in 2012 was a watershed moment not just for cycling but sport in general and arguably led the way for more transparency.

However, it doesn’t make it any easier to read of allegations being rife in a world which prides itself on the spirit of fair competition.

Even sports which do not necessarily require physical exertion and peak fitness are not immune to corruption.

Snooker was besieged by a match-fixing scandal with the most high-profile name, Stephen Lee, receiving a 12-year suspension.

It all makes for a grim picture when it comes to keeping faith in sport and the bodies that run it.

I think I’ll stick to the bowls....