Russian doubles player Yana Sizikova was arrested June 3 in Paris on charges of sports corruption and fraud in cooperation with an organized group. The 26-year-old suspect was taken into custody a few days after losing her first-round match at the French Open.
Suspicious activity last September
The charges stem from acts she may have committed during her match in Paris last September during the delayed 2020 Open. The Russian allegedly intentionally lost a match of her and American Madison Brengle versus Romanians Andreea Mitu and Patricia Mari. The match score was 7-6 (8) and 6-4. Authorities were alerted to a possible crime when suspicious betting patterns arose involving tens of thousands of euros bet through operators in different countries – all the bets were on the Romanians winning the specific game that Sizikova served. Sizikova was broken at love while serving in the second set’s fifth game with two double faults. This game essentially was also the difference in losing the second set and match.
Claims of innocence
French police held her for 24 hours and searched her hotel room. According to Russian news agency TASS, authorities returned the player’s passport and did not initiate legal proceedings. Sizikova claims she is bewildered by the changes and innocent. She is also contemplating legal action regarding defamatory information and libelous accusations against her.
Sizikova achieved a career-high singles ranking of 336 in June 2016 and is currently ranked 765. She peaked at 89 in doubles in March 2020. She won one WTA tournament and 43 ITF tournaments.