Tennis has proven particularly susceptible to match-fixing with the International Tennis Integrity Unit or ITIA taking a non-apologetic course against offenders. The latest development involves six Moroccan men’s tennis players, four of whom participated in the Davis Cup.
According to ITIA, all six individuals are involved in various match-fixing offenses on at least several occasions. A special hearing sought to establish the innocence of the players, but the evidence mounted against them proved that the defendants had worked to influence particular aspects of their games to ensure that they would match some arbitrary pre-agreed criteria.
All but one player was fined $5,000. The players were also banned from the game for nine years, except for one instance with the player receiving a lifetime penalty instead. The last offending player was issued a stiffer, $10,000 penalty.
Not Reporting Match-Fixing Approaches to Authorities
ITIA established that the men had received money to act in this way, immediately making it a matter of match-fixing. Apart from participating in those machinations, the players had failed to alert authorities about the issue, which is part of ITIA’s code of conduct. Any player approached with a request to fix a tennis match must immediately report the encounter to the governing body and international regulator.
As a result, all six men, to name Amine Ahouda, Anas Chakrouni, Ayoub Chakrouni, Mohamed Zakaria Khalil, Soufiane El Mesbahi and Yassir Kilani will now have to serve prolonged suspensions. In the case of Ayoub Chakrouni, the penalty is a lifetime ban which means that he would never be able to return to professional tennis and play again.
The rest of the players will not be able to attend any tennis event that is hosted by the international tennis governing body or any affiliated national associations while the players are serving their bans. Just recently, ITIA delivered a ruling in another case involving Mexican player and coach Mauricio Astorga, finding him guilty of fixing matches.