Former World No. 1 Sanchez Vicario Receives Jail Sentence For Fraud Offences

Former World No. 1 Sanchez Vicario Receives Jail Sentence For Fraud Offences

by Alex Waite

Arantxa Sanchez Vicario has received a suspended two-year jail sentence after being found guilty of fraud offences.

The former WTA world number one was convicted at the Barcelona criminal court after offences relating to hiding assets to avoid paying an outstanding debt to the Bank of Luxembourg. Sanchez Vicario was on trial with her former husband, Josep Santacana, and three other individuals.

As her punishment, Sanchez Vicario was sentenced to a three-year and three-month jail sentence and was ordered to pay compensation up to 6.6 million euros ($7.2m/£5.6m) in compensation. Throughout the trial, Sanchez Vicario denied any wrongdoing and blamed Santacana, who she claimed had been in charge of her finances.

However, the Barcelona criminal court ruled that the 52-year-old former tennis professional "had full knowledge" of her finances. In addition, the court ruled that she had "the full awareness" of the debts owed to the Bank of Luxembourg.

This case was a continuation of an original ruling against Sanchez Vicario from 2009 when she had to pay €5.2 million (£4.5m) in reparations due to tax fraud in a 14-year period between 1989 and 2003. Originally, the Bank of Luxembourg paid the debt, but Sanchez Vicario and Santacana failed to pay back the loaned money.

In a 17-year tennis career, Sanchez Vicario won some of the biggest titles in the game. The Spanish former number one won four Grand Slams, including three Roland Garros and one US Open before she retired in 2002.

Moreover, the retired player was a decorated doubles player and won six more Grand Slam titles in doubles. In the 1992 and 1996 Olympics, Sanchez Vicario also won two bronze and two silver medals.

However, Sanchez Vicario is not the only high-profile ex-tennis player to face a jail sentence. In 2022, former ATP player Boris Becker received a 2.5-year sentence after hiding assets from bankruptcy.


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