Home > Sustainable Gambling > Sports integrity > Two tennis players receive bans from TIU

Two tennis players receive bans from TIU

| By
The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) has fined and banned Britain’s George Kennedy for a total of seven months after he admitted to two gambling charges, while Ukrainian player Stanislav Poplavskyy faces a lifetime ban for match-fixing and courtsiding activities.
ITIA tennis match fixing

Poplavskyy, who had a highest ATP ranking of 440, accepted all charges. These included courtsiding, a prohibited practice which involves the transmission of live scoring data from a match to a third party for betting purposes, as well as a failure to report multiple approaches asking him to fix matches.

As of 1 December, Poplavskyy is prohibited from playing in or attending any tennis event authorised or sanctioned by the sport’s governing bodies. He has also been issued a fine of $10,000.

Kennedy’s wagering-related disciplinary case was ruled on by anti-corruption officer Jane Mulcahy, QC on 1 December 2020, and found that he had breached two sections of the Tennis Anti-corruption Programme (TACP).

He was found to have placed bets on tennis matches from accounts in his own name, and on behalf of another individual. Mulcahy ruled that he should be banned for six months (with three suspended) for one offence and seven months (with three suspended) for the second. The bans will run concurrently.

He was also fined $10,000, with $9,000 suspended for the period of the ban. The sanction means Kennedy is now prohibited from playing in or attending any tennis event authorised or sanctioned by the governing bodies for seven months, with three suspended.

His betting activity was found to be in violation of section D.1.a and D.1.b of the TACP, stating that no player may directly or indirectly wager on the outcome or any other aspect of any tennis competition, and that no player may solicit or facilitate any other person to wager on any tennis competition.

The TIU has handed out several bans to tennis players this year, for a range of betting and match-fixing offences.

In November, two Bulgarian players, brothers Karen and Yuri Khachatryan, received lifetime and 10-year bans respectively after being convicted of five cases of match-fixing, nine cases of soliciting other players not to use best efforts and a repeated failure to cooperate with the TIU’s investigation.

Another Bulgarian player, Aleksandrina Naydenova, who has won 14 International Tennis Federation (ITF) titles, was later issued with a lifetime ban and a $150,000 fine, after being found kguilty of engaging in match-fixing activity multiple times between 2015 and 2019.

Most recently, Spanish player Enrique López Pérez received an eight-year ban and a $25,000 fine last week, after he was found guilty of three separate match-fixing events in 2017.

From 1 January 2021, the TIU, which is currently an initiative of the Grand Slam Board, International Tennis Federation, Association of Tennis Professionals and Women’s Tennis Association, will become a new, independent body known as the International Tennis Integrity Agency.

Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter