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Fiona Simmons December 13, 2022 2 min read
ITIA Issues Life Bans over Multiple Match-Fixing Offenses
French tennis players Jules Okala and Mick Lescure have been handed lifetime bans from the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) over match-fixing offenses going back to 2014. The offenses were finally investigated by integrity authorities, with the severity of the cases mandating life-long suspension from the sport. Okala, whose highest ATP ranking was 338, was guilty of seven instances of match-fixing offenses.
Match-Fixing Offense Cost Tennis Players Everything
Lescure, whose highest ATP ranking on record was 487, was found guilty of eight similar offenses. The two players were investigated as part of a larger operation against fraud in sports conducted by authorities in Belgium and France. Moving forward, neither player will be able to attend or participate in tennis events that are sanctioned by an official tennis body.
Okala will have to pay $15,000 and Lescure will have to pay $40,000 apart from their bans. Okala was found guilty of breaching the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program, having both participated in match-fixing and failing to notify relevant authorities about being approached by parties that orchestrated part of the offenses.
Okala was also found guilty of having purposefully underperformed during matches to lose and facilitate the match-fixing offenses. Lescure was found guilty of having influenced the outcome of events and guilty of breaches of the TACP in 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018. ITIA has been acting against corrupt tennis players, coaches, and officials throughout the years, with the sport reporting one of the highest rates of similar offenses.
ITIA acted in another case as recently as last week when the organization said that it is suspending Stefan Milanov, a Bulgarian umpire, for multiple betting offenses. ITIA also acted in another case in which it fined Mardy Fish and Bob Bryan $10,000 each for promoting a gambling operator via social media.
Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.
Sports December 13, 2022
Sports December 13, 2022