Russian tennis star Yana Sizikova was arrested after allegedly throwing a match at last year's Roland Garros grand slam tournament in France, according to multiple reports. The investigation began in October when there were allegations of match-fixing in a doubles contest during 2020's Roland Garros between Sizikova and American Madison Brengle vs. Romanian pair Andreea Mitu and Patricia Maria Tig. Sizikova, 26, was arrested last week when leaving her massage session after her first-round doubles match in this year's tournament, which she and partner Ekaterina Alexandrova lost.
Sizikova was released shortly after being arrested, but the investigation is not over. "Yana Sizikova is shocked and rejects charges of crimes she has never committed... these accusations harm her reputation," her lawyer Frederic Belo told the Tass news agency per BBC. Belo also noted that Sizikova may not be able to leave France as she's "accused of sporting corruption, which is punishable by five years in prison and a 500,000 euro ($608,000; £430,000) fine. She is also suspected of fraud as part of an organized group. Under this article, she could face up to five years in prison and a fine of 300,000 euros ($365,000; £260,000)." With the arrest, Sizikova is planning to file a defamation lawsuit against the Prosecutor's Office in Nanterre, outside Paris.
Yana Sizikova has been arrested at Roland-Garros relating to match-fixing allegations; French prosecutors opened investigation last September; 26-year-old lost her first-round women's doubles match on Thursday #Matchfixing #Tennis [Reuters] pic.twitter.com/Y4PZ105iGU— Menzi Kulati (@menzikulati) June 4, 2021
"Yana [Sizikova] decided to file a complaint with the Nanterre prosecutor in the coming days for the dissemination of defamatory information and libelous accusations against her," Belot stated. The Russian Tennis Federation told TASS that it's awaiting documents on the case of Sizikova's arrest.
"This is a long-standing story. There is an organization that is investigating fixed-term matches, this story has been going on since October. Until the documents on it are released, we cannot do anything. We are waiting," Federation President Shamil Tarpishchev told TASS per CNN.
Sizikova reached a career-high ranking of 336 in 2016. She reached No. 89 in doubles rankings in March 2020. In her career, Sizikova has won 232 singles matches with three ITF titles. In doubles competition, Sizikova has won 349 matches with one WTA and 43 ITF titles.