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Philippoussis sanctioned for breaching tennis betting rules

| By iGB Editorial Team
Australian tennis coach Mark Philippoussis is being sanctioned after breaching the sport’s betting sponsorship rules.
ITIA tennis match fixing

The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) is fining Philippoussis $10,000 and handing him a suspended ban of four months.

He broke the rules by receiving payment for providing a voiceover to promotional content for a gaming operator.

Suspended ban

The ITIA said that the suspension will not come into force unless there is a further breach of the rules. The regulations are set out in the ITIA’s Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme.

The ITIA is an independent body established by the sport’s international governing bodies. The body focuses on safeguarding the integrity of professional tennis worldwide.

The former top-10 player on the men’s ATP tour did not contest the charge and cooperated fully.

“Covered person”

As an accredited coach, Philippoussis is considered a “covered person” under the rules. This means they are subject to the sport’s regulations around relationships with betting operators.

The rules specify that “no covered person shall directly or indirectly, facilitate, encourage and/or promote tennis betting”.

Karen Moorhouse, CEO of the ITIA, said that “this case is clearly not one of corruption”. However, she explained that the rule in question is one that “players, coaches, and others… need to be aware of”.

Moorhouse added: “As a sport, tennis has decided that accredited individuals should not have commercial relationships with betting companies given their potential ability to influence matches, access to inside information and therefore the perception of such relationships.

“Players and others… can always talk to us if you are unsure of any rules, or are seeking clarity on any potential commercial arrangement. Preventing a breach before it occurs is always our preferred course of action.”

Suspicious betting

Separate from the latest case, the ITIA is attempting to tackle long-standing challenges surrounding betting-related corruption in tennis.

According to the International Betting Integrity Association, tennis was only behind football in terms of suspicious betting alerts in Q2.

Last month, the ITIA banned two players for life for multiple anti-corruption breaches.

Slovenia’s Nastja Kolar and Alexandra Riley from the US committed 25 and 15 offences respectively between 2015 and 2020. Both players were provisionally suspended in March pending a decision on sanctions.

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