ITIA Sanctions Four Officials With Fines And Lengthy Suspensions For Corruption Charges

ITIA Sanctions Four Officials With Fines And Lengthy Suspensions For Corruption Charges

by Nurein Ahmed

The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has widened its net and plugged holes in its fight against corruption in tennis.

Most cases related to breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP) pertain to players and sometimes agents, but there are rare occasions where officials are also involved.

The ITIA, in its mandate to protect the integrity of the sport, deals with such cases conclusively and acts with thoroughness and utmost urgency with criminal courts to address any misconduct or corruption-related breaches.

On Thursday, December 21, the ITIA noted in a press release that four officials were suspended from the sport, each with a separate time period, in addition to penalizing them with fines for breaching the TACP.

Three of them, Edvinas Grigaitis, Givi Khudoiani, and Arsen Movsisyan, were sanctioned by an independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer (AHO). At the same time, the fourth one, Manuel Sperger, accepted a direct sanction from the ITIA, which worked in tandem with Austrian authorities.

Sperger, an Austria national-level official, waived his right to a hearing and accepted a punishment of seven years and six months suspension and a fine of $25,000, of which $18,750 is suspended by the ITIA. He was charged with 12 offenses under the TACP, which included manipulating scoring data for betting intentions and facilitating wagering.

Edvinas Grigaitis is a Lithuanian national-level official who has been handed a three-year suspension for four TACP breaches, including manipulating scoring data, facilitating wagering, and plotting to commit offenses.

Grigaitis also received a separate charge for betting on tennis matches he was not involved in. Givi Khudoiani, a Georgian national-level official, has received a 14-year suspension and was fined $25,000 after collaborating with Arsen Movsisyan, who is an Armenian national-level official.

Their joint effort was to manipulate scoring data from tennis matches in 2019 and 2020 for betting purposes. Movisyan, by contrast, has received a lighter suspension of six years as compared to Khudoiani because he was found liable for six TACP breaches (Khudoiani, 15 breaches).


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