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Angel Hristov January 15, 2024 2 min read
ITIA Suspends a French Athlete and a Bulgarian Official
Anti-corruption hearing officers found the two people guilty of various TACP-related offenses
The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has handed sanctions to a French athlete and a Bulgarian tennis official. Both offenders have been suspended for long periods of time because of previous offenses.
According to the ITIA, the French tennis pro Leny Mitjana has been handed a ten-year suspension because of 11 violations of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP). In addition to that, the player was handed a $20,000 fine.
According to the tennis regulatory body, Mitjana, who has a career-high world singles ranking of 458, was involved in match-fixing efforts. While the athlete denied the charges, Philippe Cavalieros, an independent anti-corruption hearing officer (AHO) found him liable for multiple TACP breaches.
The AHO said that Mitjana is guilty of facilitating wagering, contriving the outcome of matches, influencing other players not to use their best efforts in matches and failing to report corrupt approaches.
The suspension will run from December 22, 2023, to December 21, 2033. During that period, Mitjana will be prohibited from playing in, coaching at or attending any tennis event sanctioned by the ITIA or any national association.
Stefan Milanov Was Suspended for Sixteen Years
A few days later, the ITIA also announced the suspension of Stefan Milanov, a Bulgarian tennis official who also violated the TACP. AHO Amani Khalifa investigated the matter and found Milanov guilty of committing a whopping 17 TACP violations.
For reference, the breaches relate to five matches Milanov umpired in 2021. These included five breaches related to direct or indirect wagering facilitations, five counts of scoring data delay or manipulation, five violations relating to direct or indirect attempts to conspire to commit a corruption offense and two failures to cooperate with the ITIA investigation.
A national-level official, Milanov failed to respond to the allegations, which the ITIA considers to constitute an admission of liability. He was therefore suspended for 16 years and slapped with a $75,000 fine.
As a result, Milanov will now be unable to officiate at or attend any tennis event authorized or sanctioned by members of the ITIA or any national association. The official sanction will run from December 28, 2023, to December 27, 2039.
Previously, the ITIA handed a 10-year suspension to the Slovenian tennis umpire Marko Ducman who also violated the TACP.