The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) has handed a lifetime ban to Egyptian tennis player Youssef Hossam after he was convicted of multiple match-fixing and associated corruption charges.
The 21-year-old, who is currently ranked 820th among Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) singles players, was provisionally suspended from all professional tennis in May 2019, as a result of concerns about his alleged involvement in corruption.
However, following a TIU-led investigation, covering a four-year period between 2015 and 2019, Hossam has been permanently excluded from competing in or attending any event organised or recognised by the governing bodies of tennis.
The TIU said its investigation found that Hossam, who reached a career-high ATP singles ranking of 291 in December 2017, conspired with other parties to carry out a campaign of betting-related corruption at the lower levels of professional tennis.
This involved 21 breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program, namely eight cases of match-fixing, six incidents of facilitating gambling, two cases of soliciting other players not to use best efforts, three failures to report corrupt approaches and two failures to co-operate with a TIU investigation.
The TIU cited several sections of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme, including Section D.1.b, which states that no player or official shall solicit or facilitate any other person to wager on the outcome or any other aspect of any event or any other tennis competition.
Such activity include the display of live tennis betting odds on a player’s website, writing articles for a tennis betting publication or website, conducting personal appearances for a tennis betting company, or appearing in adverts encouraging others to bet on tennis.
The TIU also highlighted Section D.1.d, which states no player shall or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any event, as well as Section D.1.e, whereby persons must not solicit or facilitate any player to not use their best efforts in any event.
The investigation also found breaches of Section D.2.a.i, where by in the event a player is approached by someone who offers money, benefit or consideration to influence the outcome or other aspect of an event, or provide inside information, the player must report this incident to the TIU as soon as possible.
In addition, the TIU said Hossam was in breach of Section F.2.b, which states that players must co-operate fully with investigations conducted by the TIU including giving evidence at hearings.
After a player receives a request for an initial interview or becomes aware of any TIU investigation involving them, they are required to preserve and not tamper with, damage, disable, destroy or alter any evidence or other information related to the offence. No must a player solicit, facilitate or advise any other person to tamper with, damage or destroy or alter evidence and information related to the offence.
Independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer Jane Mulcahy imposed the lifetime sanction following a disciplinary hearing in London, England from 9-11 March.
The TIU is an initiative of the Grand Slam Board, International Tennis Federation, the ATP and the WTA. Earlier this year, the TIU also handed a lifetime ban to Brazilian player Joao Olavo Soares de Souza after he was convicted of multiple match-fixing and associated corruption offences.