The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has recently banned 33-year-old Peruvian tennis player Mauricio Echazú from engaging in any national or international tennis events until November 5, 2023.
Lima Player Admitted to Rigging the Outcome of a Tennis Match
Lima-born Echazú is number 379 in the world rankings. According to the ITIA, the player admitted to having breached a number of regulations part of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP). Namely, he admitted to contriving or attempting to rig the outcome of a tennis match. He also admitted to having received money to change the outcome of a tennis match.
Raj Parker is the independent anti-corruption hearing officer who took over the case. Parker established that Echazú will be denied the right to play or participate in any domestic or international tennis event for the duration of two years and three months.
Echazú was officially ruled to have breached Section D.1.f of the 2018 TACP, which clearly states that the solicitation or receiving of money or any other types of benefits with the clear intent to negatively influence the efforts of a player in any sporting event is strictly prohibited.
According to Section D.1.d of the same TACP, no covered person is allowed to devise or try to devise the outcome of a sports event. The player was also fined $10,000. If no other TACP breaches are established, Echazú will only have to pay $2000.
The Rising Matter of Corruption in Sports
Last week, the ITIA also banned Argentinian tennis player Nicholas Arreche for four years after the match-fixing allegations brought against him proved to be true. Arreche and Echazú are not the only sportsmen to be banned from sporting events because of match-fixing allegations.
Last December, a match soccer match between two Scottish teams was flagged as potentially rigged by the Scottish Football league. A soccer player from Ghana was also accused of fixing his own matches, with the footage of his behavior going viral on social media and triggering an investigation.
Sport is a worldwide phenomenon that engages billions of people and triggers massive revenues on a yearly basis. Lots of issues continue to exist when it comes to rigging games worldwide, with better corruption prevention measures needed. Temporary and permanent bans could be one of the solutions, but they have so far proved not as efficient as sports bodies would like.