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Mexican former tennis player handed three-year ban over corruption charges

| By Robert Fletcher
The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has banned former Mexican tennis player Mauricio Astorga for three years over multiple breaches of its corruption rules.
ITIA Tennis Suspension

Astorga, who had a career-high ITF singles ranking of 687 and is now a coach, was found to have breached a number of sections of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP).

These breaches, the ITIA said, were based around how Astorga received money to fix an element of a match in 2015, failed to report a corrupt approach and did not cooperate with its investigation. 

Specific breaches included section D.1.d of the 2015 TACP, which states no covered person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive the outcome or any other aspect of an event.

Astorga was also found in breach of section D.1.f of the 2016 TACP, where individuals must not accept money, benefits or consideration with the intention of negatively influencing a player’s best efforts in any event.

The ITIA also cited section D.2.a.i of the 2015 TACP, where in the event any player is approached by any person seeking to influence an event, or to secure inside information, the player must report this to the ITIA as soon as possible.

In addition, Astorga was ruled to have breached section F.2.b of the 2021 TACP, where all players under investigation must comply fully with ITIA and its requests related to the probe.

The case was ruled on by independent anti-corruption hearing officer Janie Soublière and the sanction means Astorga is prohibited from playing in or attending any tennis event authorised or sanctioned by any international tennis governing body or national association such as the ATP or ITF for three years. 

The ban began on 8 October 2021 and will run until 7 October 2024.

Astorga, who chose not to contest the charges, was also fined $1,500 (£1,130/€1,328).

The player has 20 business days from the date of the decision to lodge an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The ruling comes after the ITIA last week issued a lifetime ban from the sport to former Uzbekistan player Albina Khabibulina over multiple corruption charges.

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