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Slovenian tennis official banned for betting on matches and data manipulation

| By Robert Fletcher
The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has banned Slovenian tennis official Marko Ducman for more than a decade after he was found to have wagered on matches.
ITIA tennis fixing

Ducman is banned from officiating at or attending any tennis event authorised by ITIA members. The ban runs for 10 years and six months, until 7 March 2034.

The ITIA said that Ducman breached its Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme (TACP) by betting on tennis matches. He was also found to have manipulated data from matches in which he was an official to facilitate betting.

Ducman is an international-level and bronze-badge official who has officiated at ITF, ATP and WTA tournaments. He admitted to four breaches of the TACP, co-operated fully with the ITIA investigation and accepted an agreed sanction.

The official also waived his right to a hearing before an independent anti-corruption hearing officer. He has been suspended since 8 September 2023, with the ban being backdated to this date. 

In addition, Ducman will pay a fine of $75,000 (£59,802/€68,753). Of this amount, $56,250 is suspended.

ITIA clamps down on anti-corruption breaches in tennis

Ducman is the latest individual to feel the wrath of the ITIA in recent weeks and months. The ITIA has handed out a series of sanctions as part of its strict approach to corruption.

Last week, it sanctioned five players for their roles in a match-fixing syndicate in Belgium. Alberto Rojas Maldonado, Christopher Díaz Figueroa, José Antonio Rodríguez Rodríguez, Antonio Ruiz Rosales and Orlando Alcántara Rangel will serve bans.

Mexican Maldonado was handed a lifetime ban from tennis and ordered to pay a $250,000 fine. He was found guilty of 92 breaches of the TACP and was found to have played a pivotal role in the corruption of other players. 

Guatemalan Figueroa also received a lifetime ban and a $75,000 fine for 13 TACP breaches. Figueroa previously served a three-year suspension for match-fixing.

Belgian syndicate at centre of tennis match-fixing

The case relates to a Belgian match-fixing syndicate led by Grigor Sargsyan. The recent criminal case led to the conviction of Sargsyan, who was handed a five-year custodial sentence.

Described by the Washington Post as “the man who built the biggest match-fixing ring in tennis”, Sargsyan had traversed the globe since 2018 to build a network of more than 180 professional players across five continents.

The ITIA earlier this month also banned seven Belgian players after a court ruled they were involved with the same match-fixing syndicate.

Players included Arnaud Graisse, Arthur de Greef, Julien Dubail, Romain Barbosa, Maxime Authom, Omar Salman and Alec Witmeur.  Three of the players – Witmeur, de Greef and Barbosa – have been provisionally suspended since May 2021.

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