ITIA Suspends Tunisian Player Linked To Prominent Match-Fixing Syndicate

ITIA Suspends Tunisian Player Linked To Prominent Match-Fixing Syndicate

by Nurein Ahmed

The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has announced yet another culprit in one of the biggest match-fixing rings in modern tennis.

In the past 18 months, there have been increased cases of violation of anti-doping and anti-corruption regulations, which the ITIA has been monitoring and surveilling with immense interest. Not even the high-profile tennis players have been spared.

For instance, former WTA No. 1 Simona Halep was handed a four-year suspension from the sport for consuming a blood doping agent in 2022, and her punishment only began counting towards the end of last season following a lengthy tribunal process.

On Friday, January 19th, the ITIA announced that Tunisian player Anis Ghorbel was culpable of four Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP) breaches and has been suspended for a period of three years and fined $20,000.

Ghorbel, 34, has a career-high ranking of 479 on the ATP Tour, which was achieved back in 2016. After contesting the charges brought to him for fixing tennis matches in 2016 and 2017, he appeared before an independent Anti-Corruption Officer (AHO) on December 22nd, 2023.

The AHO concluded that Ghorbel breached at least four sections of the TACP, including facilitating betting on matches and failure to report a corruption-related approach.

The date of his suspension will be backdated to the date of the initial decision of his sanction, which was January 4th, 2024, and will run till midnight of January 3rd, 2027, when he'll be 37. In his time of inactivity, he is strictly prohibited from attending or playing at any tennis event authorized by members of the ITIA.

The ITIA also noted in its press release that the case was closely linked to a match-fixing syndicate involving prominent Armenian orchestrator Grigor Sargsyan, who was arrested last year in Brussels, Belgium, and is currently on custodial sentence.

The ITIA, which is the umbrella body in professional tennis vested with the mandate to promote and protect the integrity of the sport, worked with all relevant authorities to nab several players liable for corruption charges and who had an association with Sargsyan.


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