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Tennis pro López Pérez banned for eight years for match-fixing

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Spanish tennis player Enrique López Pérez has received an eight-year ban and a $25,000 fine after the Tennis Integrity Unit found him guilty of three separate match-fixing events in 2017.
ITIA Tennis

Anti-corruption hearing officer Richard McLaren found that López Pérez breached Section D.1.d of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme (TACP) – the rule covering match-fixing – at three different tournaments in 2017. The player was charged with two other breaches, but these could not be proved.

Section D.1.d says that “no covered person shall, directly or indirectly contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any event”.

Because of the ban, the 29-year-old now may not play another event organised by tennis’s governing bodies including the ATP and ITF until 1 December 2028.

López Pérez – who reached a career-high ATP singles world ranking of No. 154 in 2018 and doubles ranking of No. 135 – has won 25 Futures events and one Challenger competition: the 2019 Zhuhai Open. He was most recently ranked No. 182 in the world in singles before he was provisionally suspended as the investigation began and reached the final qualifying round for the 2016 US Open.

The TIU is to rebrand as the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) on 1 January 2021. For that year it will be responsible for betting integrity enforcement in tennis in 2021, before adding anti-doping to its responsibilities from 2022.

López Pérez is the fourth player to receive a suspension from the TIU in the past month month. On 5 November Bulgarian brothers Karen and Yuri Khachatryan received lifetime and 10-year bans respectively for a variety of corruption, betting and match-fixing offences. Last week, another Bulgarian player, Aleksandrina Naydenova, was found guilty of partaking in match-fixing activity multiple times between 2015 and 2019 and given a lifetime ban.

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