Match-fixing scandal: List of players banned by Tennis Integrity Unit2 min read . Updated: 19 Jan 2016, 01:46 AM IST
From Alexandros Jakupovic to Morgan Lamri, here's a list of seven players banned by the TIU in the recent past
On a day when the Australian Open kicked off in Melbourne, tennis was rocked by revelations of match-fixing, thanks to an investigative report by BuzzFeed News and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The investigation was based on nine lists of suspected fixers, including more than 70 players, accessed by BuzzFeed and BBC, which were handed to the game’s authorities over the last decade.
It also alleged that tennis’ governing bodies were repeatedly warned about “a core group of 16 players—all of whom have been ranked in the top 50" but were not sanctioned over suspicions that they had tanked matches during the past decade or so. It also said that more than half of those players will be participating in the traditional beginning-of-the-year Grand Slam.
It said that the core group of 16 players included “winners of singles and doubles titles at Grand Slam tournaments". They were reported for “losing games when highly suspicious bets have been placed against them". One of those players, the report added, was ranked in the top 50, and is currently competing in the Australian Open. He was suspected of “repeatedly fixing his first set".
The report also revealed that players were being targeted in “hotel rooms at major tournaments" and offered $50,000 or more per fix by gamblers. These gamblers, as per the investigation, were based in Russia and Italy, and have made “hundreds and thousands of pounds by placing highly suspicious bets on scores of matches—including at Wimbledon and French Open".
You can read the full report here.
Tennis has its own anti-corruption body called the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU). The TIU was created in September 2008, a year after allegations of match-fixing in the sport first emerged. Since then it has suspended several players (and officials) for acts of corruption. The first player it banned for life was Austrian Daniel Koellerer in 2011.
Here’s a list of players suspended by the TIU in the recent past:
A former member of Greece’s Davis Cup team, Japukovic was banned for life in December 2015 after he was found guilty of five corruption charges. The 34-year-old Jakupovic is currently ranked 616.
Piotr Gadomski and Arkadiusz Kocyla
Gadomski and Kocyla, both Polish tennis players, were banned for seven and five years, respectively, in September 2015 after they were found guilty of offences under the “Tennis Anti-Corruption Program". Gadomski, 25, retired from the sport last year, while the 22-year-old Kocyla is currently ranked 937. Both players were also fined $15,000.
In August 2015, 34-year-old Slovakian tennis player Ivo Klec was suspended by the TIU for two years for failing to cooperate with its investigations. He was also fined $10,000 for the offence.
Walter Trusendi and Elie Rousset
The TIU suspended Italian player Walter Trusendi for six months in March 2015 for breaches of TIU’s Uniform Anti-Corruption Programme. Frenchman Elie Rousset was handed a six-month ban, three of those suspended due to good behaviour. The duo were fined $5000 for their offence.
In November 2014, the TIU banned 22-year-old Lamri, a French tennis player and official, for life for his involvement in gambling and match-fixing. He was banned for violations of the TIU’s Uniform Anti-Corruption Programme.