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ITIA bans Italian tennis player over betting breaches

| By Robert Fletcher
The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has banned Italian tennis player Andrea Rita for 15 months for breaching its rules on betting.

Rita admitted to four breaches of the ITIA Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme (TACP). The ITIA said these betting-related violations took place between 2018 and 2020.

Among the breaches were incidents of wagering on tennis matches and the failure to report a corrupt approach. Both flout rules set out in the TACP. 

Rita will be banned from all forms of professional tennis from 26 January 2024 through to 25 April 2025. The ban covers both playing at or attending events sanctioned by ITIA members and national associations.

In addition, Rita, who reached a career-high ITF singles ranking of 1,712 in June last year, has been fined $5,000 (£3,945/€4,616), with $4,000 suspended.

Tennis corruption: a continuing issue for ITIA

Rita is the latest player to be banned as part of efforts by the ITIA to tackle corruption in tennis.

Earlier this month, France’s Maxence Broville was banned for a total of seven years. This was after he failed to co-operate with an anti-corruption investigation.

However, it is not just players causing headaches for the ITIA. Bosnian official Damjan Dejanovic has been provisionally suspended in relation to pending corruption charges. The ITIA also banned Bulgarian official Stefan Milanov for 16 years over corruption offences.

One of the focus areas for the ITIA has been a criminal case over a wider match-fixing case in Belgium. Collaboration between the ITIA and Belgian authorities led to a five-year custodial sentence for syndicate leader Grigor Sargsyan.

An initial 16 players were banned during Sargsyan’s conviction in November last year. Since then, more players have also been handed sanctions.

French player Leny Mitjanam was banned for 10 years after being found guilty of corruption and match-fixing offences. Tunisian player Anis Ghorbel was also banned for three years over fixing matches in 2016 and 2017.

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