Tennis umpires banned over corruption; 4 officials suspended

Tennis umpires banned over corruption; 4 officials suspended

In 2014 French tennis official Morgan Lamri was banned for multiple breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program. The ITF signed a deal with live-score service Sportradar in 2012, and under the terms of the deal, umpires were asked to update the scoreboard after each point using a tablet.

That enabled betting companies to offer markets on matches at those tournaments.

However, the umpires are alleged to have deliberately delayed updating the scores for up to 60 seconds - allowing gamblers to place bets knowing what was going to happen next.

'Sportradar are excellent partners and share with the ITF the goal of ensuring the integrity of our sport'.

Two tennis umpires were banned a year ago, one for life, for breaches of the sport's code of conduct for officials, world governing body the International Tennis Federation has revealed.

Allegations of corruption in world tennis were reignited last month when a former Australian professional tennis player pleaded guilty to match-fixing just hours after a top global bookmaker suspended betting on a suspicious match at the Australian Open.

The report also alleged the International Tennis Federation (ITF) worked to keep quiet the cases of two umpires: one who was decertified for reaching out to another official in an attempt to manipulate the scoring of matches and another who was involved in gambling.

Croatian Denis Pitner was suspended for 12 months after sending information about a player to a coach during a tournament and logging onto a betting account from which wagers were placed on games.

Tennis authorities rejected allegations that evidence of match-fixing had been suppressed or had not been properly investigated.

The activity involves umpires taking bribes from betting syndicates to manipulate live scores on the International Tennis Federation's Futures Tour, the lowest rung of the professional tennis tour.

It led to the announcement of an independent review into tennis' anti-corruption practices.

"In order to ensure no prejudice of any future hearing we can not publicly disclose the nature or detail of those investigations", it said.

'The ITF's data contract with Sportradar for an official data feed provides regulation and control where previously there was none, ' a statement said.

The sanctions, which were taken under the ITF's code of conduct for officials, were not announced at the time because there had been no provision for such disclosure, though the wording has subsequently been changed.

The code was amended in December 2015 and sanctions issued from now on will be announced.

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