The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has handed down a 12-year ban to Max Wenders, a Dutch tennis coach, who has been involved in numerous match-fixing offenses. Wenders has pled guilty to the investigation and accepted ITIA’s ruling.
Max Wenders Pleads Guilty and Accepts Ruling
As a result of the measure, ITIA prohibits Wenders from coaching, playing, or attending tennis events that are part of ITIA’s partner network. The ban enters into effect with a backdate from April 28, 2021. Wenders is one of the most prominent figures in tennis, and he has helped many WTA players reach peak performance.
He coached Sofia Kenin who won the 2020 Australian Open among others. Wenders’ offenses stretch beyond mere match-fixing, as the coach was involved in other offenses, such as the destruction of evidence that was requested by ITIA to investigate the match-fixing offenses. Wenders pled guilty to this as well.
As a result, he was found in breach of several paragraphs of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program or TACP. Those included D.1.d, D.1.e, and D.2.b.ii, relating to the obligations of players and coaches, their association with match-fixing, and a commitment to play and contribute to the best of one’s ability to ensure that the sport is fair and conducted based on the best terms of sportsmanship.
Wenders will also face a financial penalty of $12,000. Originally, Wenders tried to deny the allegations, but he later considered and came clean. ITIA has been particularly active with regard to suspending players. The organization banned Vernier Quinteros earlier in July over match-fixing offenses.
Before that, an Italian chair umpire was handed a suspension while an investigation into his actions that may involve match-fixing is ongoing. Tennis remains one of the most flagged sports according to IBIA’s statistics on betting alerts which considers instances of potential fraud in the gambling industry.