Tennis Integrity Unit Suspends Official, Players for Match-Fixing and Betting

Posted on: December 11, 2020, 02:55h. 

Last updated on: December 11, 2020, 10:49h.

December’s just 11 days old, and already it’s been a busy month for the Tennis Integrity Unit, the independent global body charged with snuffing out corruption in the sport. So far this month, three players and one official have received suspensions, including a player who received a lifetime ban, for their roles in match-fixing or other illicit betting schemes.

Tennis match fixing
Since the start of the month, the Tennis Integrity Unit has announced suspensions on three players and one referee. One player, Ukrainian Stanislav Poplavskyy, received a lifetime ban. (Image: ladsinger/English Wikipedia)

Last Friday, the TIU issued a lifetime ban to Ukrainian Stanislav Poplavskyy after it determined he participated in fixing matches and also committed courtsiding, which is the transmission of live scoring data to a third party for betting purposes.

Once ranked as high as 440th in the world, Poplavskyy was involved in those schemes for four years, through last year. A TIU release reported he was also found guilty for failing to report multiple propositions for fixing matches.

In addition to the lifetime ban, he also received a fine of $10,000.

On the same day, the TIU reported George Kennedy, an unranked British player, received a seven-month ban and a $10,000 fine after it was discovered he wagered on matches using his own sports betting account, as well as placing bets for another person.

Of the seven-month ban, three months will be suspended, as will $9,000 of the fine.

On Dec. 1, the organization announced that Enrique López Pérez will be suspended for eight years after the TIU determined he participated in match-fixing three times during 2017.

The 29-year-old Spaniard had been charged with five counts, but the hearing officer ruled two of those cases were not proven. López Pérez was initially suspended a year ago prior to the hearing. He had been ranked as high as No. 154 in men’s singles on the ATP Tour, and No. 137 in doubles.

Betting French Tennis Official Gets 18-Month Ban

On Wednesday, the TIU handed down an 18-month suspension to a French line umpire after he copped to placing 11 bets on tennis matches between January and October 2019.

However, while David Rocher admitted to making bets, he objected to a claim he failed to cooperate with investigators.

The hearing officer in the case issued a six-month ban for the gambling offenses and an 18-month suspension for the lack of cooperation. The bans will run concurrently, with four months suspended. In addition, $4,000 of the $5,000 fine was also suspended.

TIU to Take On Doping Fight Starting Next Month

In addition to reviewing claims of match-fixing and corruption, the London-based organization is charged with preventing match-fixing and other match integrity issues. It is also designated to educate players, officials, and others in the tennis community regarding anti-corruption practices.

Effective Jan. 1, the TIU will officially become the International Tennis Integrity Agency. In its new form, the organization will continue to investigate corruption and match-fixing. However, it will also address anti-doping issues within the game as well.

The agency was created and receives funding from seven major stakeholders, including the International Tennis Federation, the men’s ATP Tour, the women’s WTA, and the four professional major events – the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open.