ITIA Suspends Croatian Umpire Culpable For 15 Breaches Of Tennis Anti-Corruption Program

ITIA Suspends Croatian Umpire Culpable For 15 Breaches Of Tennis Anti-Corruption Program

by Nurein Ahmed

Tennis sanctions linked to violations of the rules and regulations that govern the sport are not limited to players because officials, including chair umpires, are sometimes guilty.

Recently, a slew of tennis players who feature predominantly on the lower tiers have been suspended by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA), including some cases of lifetime bans.

Some players contest these charges, like the high-profile case involving former WTA World no. 1 Simona Halep, who appealed her initial four-year doping ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The Romanian was successful in reducing the length of her sanction to nine months, which was backdated to begin in late 2022. Halep's suspension period has now expired, and he is free to play tennis again. She has accepted a wild card to play at next week's Miami Open.

However, some of those who flouted the Tennis Anti-Doping (TADP) and Anti-Corruption Programs (TACP) pleaded guilty to their misconduct. That was exactly what happened in the most recent case involving Marko Stojanovic.

Stojanovic is a Croatian national-level tennis official who has officiated tennis matches at the ITF level. On Wednesday, the ITIA issued a press release confirming that he had admitted to 15 breaches of the TACP. Therefore, he will be suspended for five years and six months.

His crime involves data manipulation of those tennis matches he officiated to enhance betting. Stojanovic complied with ITIA investigations and accepted the sanction. This means that he surrenders his right to a hearing before an independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer (AHO).

Additionally, the Croat has been fined $25,000, of which $18,750 has been suspended. The date of sanction is backdated to commence on February 19th, 2024, and will end on August 18th, 2029.

As he serves the ban, Stojanovic is restricted from participating in or attending any tennis tournament authorized by a member of the ITIA, including the four Grand Slam tournaments.


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