Sports integrity

Nigerian tennis players handed lifetime bans for match fixing

| By Nosa Omoigui
The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has issued lifetime bans to players Abiodun Oyegoke and Bukola Popoola.
Two Nigerian tennis players face lifetime bans from the sport

Oyegoke peaked at 986 in the ITF singles rankings, and Popoola was unranked as a player but the ITIA said she was purported to be working as a coach at a tournament at which Oyegoke played.

The sanctions relate to breaches to the 2019 Tennis Anti-Corruption Program, which occurred during a tournament the pair played in during the same year.

Clause D.1.e of the program states: “No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, solicit, facilitate, or conspire to solicit or facilitate any Player to not use his or her best efforts in any Event.”

Clause D.1.k states: “No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, solicit, facilitate, or conspire to solicit or facilitate any other person to contrive, attempt to contrive or conspire to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any Event.”

Ms Popoola was also guilty of violating clause D.1.c – “No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, solicit, accept, or conspire to solicit or accept any money, benefit or Consideration for the provision of an accreditation to an Event (i) for the purpose of facilitating a commission of a Corruption Offense; or (ii) which leads, directly or indirectly, to the commission of a Corruption Offense.”

Both players both are permanently prohibited from playing in or attending any tennis event authorised or sanctioned by the governing bodies of tennis.

The ITIA rebranded earlier this year, having previously been known as the Tennis Integrity Unit.

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