The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has announced that seven Belgian tennis players have been suspended for violating the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP). These suspensions come after the conclusion of a criminal case that focused on a match-fixing syndicate based in Belgium, which resulted in the ring leader, Grigor Sargsyan, receiving a prison sentence.
The seven players, who were all convicted in criminal court, have agreed to sanction deals with the ITIA. The specific details of their breaches and suspensions are as follows:
– Arnaud Graisse: 12 breaches, 4 years 10 months suspension, $60,000 fine ($42,000 suspended)
– Arthur de Greef: 9 breaches, 3 years suspension, $45,000 fine ($31,500 suspended)
– Julien Dubail: 9 breaches, 3 years 9 months suspension, $45,000 fine ($31,500 suspended)
– Romain Barbosa: 9 breaches, 3 years 9 months suspension, $45,000 fine ($31,500 suspended)
– Maxime Authom: 6 breaches, 3 years 9 months suspension, $30,000 fine ($21,000 suspended)
– Omar Salman: 6 breaches, 2 years 7 months suspension, $30,000 fine ($21,000 suspended)
– Alec Witmeur: 6 breaches, 2 years 7 months suspension, $30,000 fine ($21,000 suspended)
Following their suspensions, all players are prohibited from participating in, coaching, or attending any tennis event authorized or sanctioned by the ITIA, including ATP, ITF, WTA, Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, and US Open, or any national association.
This latest wave of suspensions adds to a string of sanctions issued by the ITIA in recent months. Earlier in the month, three players were banned for match-fixing activity, and French tennis player Alexis Musialek was banned for life in August for 39 breaches of the TACP. Additionally, in May, umpire Heriberto Morales Churata from Bolivia was banned for six years and fined $10,000 for manipulating scores for betting purposes.
In March, Slovenian player Nastja Kolar and U.S. player Alexandra Riley were found to have committed 25 and 15 breaches of the rules, respectively, between 2015 and 2020, resulting in their provisional suspensions.
The crackdown on corruption and match-fixing within the world of tennis continues to be a priority for the ITIA, as they strive to maintain the integrity of the sport.