Tennis player Simohamed Hirs banned for life

| By Conor Mulheir
The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has confirmed that Moroccan professional tennis player Simohamed Hirs has been banned for life from the sport following investigations into multiple incidents of match fixing.
Two Nigerian tennis players face lifetime bans from the sport

The case was ruled on by anti-corruption hearing officer Amani Khalifa, and means that from 28 July Hirs is permanently prohibited from playing in or attending any tennis event authorised or sanctioned by the governing bodies of tennis.

In addition to the ban, Hirs was order to pay a fine of $35,000 (£25,143/€29,499).

The player, whose highest Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) singles ranking was 1,798, was found guilty of 3 match fixing charges and was also charged with failing to report being approached with requests to fix matches, as well as soliciting other players not to use their best efforts.

Since April, the ITIA has handed out several bans related to breaches of its Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP) rules.

Venezuela’s Roberto Maytín, who previously ranked 86th in the world for doubles, was handed a 14-year ban and a $100,000 fine with $75,000 suspended.

Kazakhstani tennis player Roman Khassanov was subsequently banned from the sport for 10 years after admitting several instances of match fixing between 2014 and 2018, while a trio of Belgian players were provisionally suspended from the sport in May pending a criminal investigation.

Last month, Colombian player Carlos Andrés Sepúlveda Navarro was handed a three-year ban from the sport.

Earlier this month, the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) announced that a record low number of suspicious betting alerts had been recorded in the second quarter of 2021, despite tennis authorities confirming that they were investigating irregular betting patterns at this year’s Wimbledon grand slam tournament.

The Association said it had received just six alerts on tennis during the quarter, the lowest number recorded in the sport since the body began producing regular reports in 2015.

The ITIA, meanwhile, said it had received a total of 11 suspicious betting alerts for the quarter – less than half the number recorded in Q1.

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