During Q3, 2021, the International Tennis Integrity Agency issued multiple permanent and temporary bans. Moreover, the ITIA unveiled that it has received a total of 38 betting alerts during the period, two of which were related to the US Open, while two more were related to Wimbledon.
ITIA: 38 Match Alerts Were Flagged during Q3
The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) announced on Tuesday that it has received a total of 38 betting alerts during Q3, 2021. The alerts were received via ITIA’s confidential Memoranda of Understanding with the regulated betting industry.
From the 38 betting alerts received between July and September 2021, four were related to major Championships. ITIA revealed that it received two betting alerts for the US Open. Additionally, two more betting alerts were received for Wimbledon.
Most betting alerts were received for the ATP Challenger, a total of 13. On the other hand, 9 betting alerts were related to the M25 Men’s World Tennis Tour, while M15 Men’s World Tennis Tour attracted 7 alerts. The ITIA outlined that it received 2 betting alerts related to the W15 Women’s World Tennis Tour and one alert related to the W80 Women’s World Tennis Tour. The ATP World Tour 250, as well as Davis Cup, each attracted one betting alert.
An Alert Doesn’t Always Relate to Match-Fixing
The ITIA revealed that all alerts received are recorded, analyzed and followed up. The sports integrity guardian noted that “an alert on its own is not evidence of match-fixing.” According to ITIA, unusual betting patterns may be caused by other factors besides match-fixing.
“Where analysis of a match alert does suggest corrupt activity, the ITIA conducts a full, confidential investigation,“reads a statement released by the ITIA
An example that ITIA gave was that incorrect odds-setting or well-informed betting may result in unusual betting patterns. Additionally, it said that a player’s fatigue or fitness, as well as playing conditions and other personal circumstances, may raise a betting alert.
While analyzing a match alert if ITIA finds potential evidence of corrupt activity it would conduct a full-scale confidential investigation. The tennis integrity guardian outlined that more details regarding the analyzed data will be released in its annual report.
The Tennis Integrity Guardian Issues Multiple Bans
Besides betting alerts, the ITIA issued permanent and temporary bans for players who have breached Tennis Anti-Corruption Program rules. Simohamed Hirs, a player from Morocco was banned for life from the sport. Additionally, the ITIA banned Uzbekistan players Temur Ismailov for life, while Amal Sultanbekov was banned for five years.
Germany’s Dario Drebenstedt was banned by ITIA for 1 year. Moreover, Algerian player Hichem Yasri was banned for three months over placing illegal bets. The ITIA stressed that seven provisional suspensions were confirmed in the last three months. Currently, further investigation into the breaches is pending.