ITIA issues more bans over match-fixing

| By Robert Fletcher
The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has issued bans to Chilean player Bárbara Gatica Avilés and China’s Baoluo Zheng for breaching match-fixing rules.
tennis fine

The 26-year-old was banned from tennis for three years after admitting breaking several Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme (TACP) rules by losing deliberately in return for payment. The ban is effective from 9 December this year to 8 December 2025.

Avilés, who has a highest WTA ranking of 158, was also fined $5,000 (£4,099/€4,703).

The ITIA found Avilés guilty of breaches of Section D.1.d, whereby no covered person shall, contrive or attempt to impact the outcome or any other aspect of any tennis event.

Avilés was also ruled to have breached Section D.1.b, which relates to players soliciting or facilitating any other person to bet on the outcome of an event or competition, as well as Section D.1.f in relation to players accepting money to negatively impact their best efforts.

Zheng, meanwhile, was banned for nine months and fined $5,000, with $2,000 suspended, after he was found to have approached an opponent and offered money in return for deliberately losing a match at a tournament in Egypt in October 2022.

The case was dealt with under the 2022 TACP “agreed sanction” framework, which allows for a sanction to be issued by the ITIA to the player upon admission of guilt, without the need for a hearing.

As such, the 21-year-old’s suspension started on 27 October 2022 and will end on 26 July 2023.

Specific breaches of TACP rules highlighted in this case also included D.1.d of the 2022 TACP, as well as a number of other sections in the most recent set of regulations.

These were Section D.1.g, whereby players must not offer or provide any money, benefit or consideration to other covered persons with the aim of negatively influencing a player’s best efforts.

The ITIA also highlighted Section D.1.n in relation to attempting, agreeing, or conspiring to commit any corruption offence, as well as Section D.1.o in reference to soliciting, facilitating or inciting any other person to commit a corruption offence.

In addition, Zheng was ruled to have breached Section D.1.e, which states persons must not facilitate any player to not use his or her best efforts in any event.

Last week, the ITIA announced Karen Moorhouse as its new CEO, replacing Jonny Gray who stepped down in September. 

Moorhouse will assume her new role on 6 February next year after more than 14 years with the Rugby Football League in the UK, where she was chief regulatory officer.

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