After conducting an investigation, the Tennis Integrity Unit issued a lifetime ban for the professional Bulgarian player Aleksandrina Naydenova. Along with the ban, a fine of $150,000 was issued. The Unit charged and consequently found the player guilty of 12 breaches relating to match-fixing and one related to non-co-operation with the investigation.
A Lifetime Ban and a Hefty Fine Issued by TIU
The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) announced that the Bulgarian tennis player Aleksandrina Naydenova has received a lifetime ban from the sport. On Friday last week, the Unit revealed that after an investigation, the player was found to have partaken in match-fixing on multiple occasions between 2015 and 2019.
Furthermore, TIU revealed that Ms. Naydenova was charged and found guilty for failing to co-operate with the investigation. Besides the professional ban, a fine of $150,000 was also issued.
According to the TIU statement, the disciplinary case was heard by Richard McLaren, an Anti-corruption Hearing Officer. Consequently, he found that the tennis pro made a total of 13 breaches of the Tennis Anti-corruption Program (TACP). Some 12 breaches were found relating to match-fixing. One more breach was related to multiple incidents of non-co-operation with the investigation by TIU.
As a result, the Unit issued a permanent ban for the player starting from November 20, 2020. The ban prohibits Ms. Naydenova from playing or attending any tennis event authorized or sanctioned by the governing bodies of tennis.
Tennis Pro Found Guilty of Breaching TACP Rules
Before the ban by TIU, Ms. Naydenova had the highest ITF singles ranking of 89 and WTA ranking of 218. However, she has been provisionally suspended from the professional tennis scene on December 27, 2019, before the hearing.
Ms. Naydenova was found guilty of breaching the rules of the Tennis Anti-corruption Programme (TACP). TIU outlined that the tennis pro broke rules section D.1.d. of the 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 TACPs: “No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any Event.” Furthermore, the TIU outlined that Ms. Naydenova was found guilty for breaching Section F.2.b / D.2.c of the 2017 and 2019 TACPs which outline the failure to co-operate with the investigation conducted by the Unit.
The TIU is an initiative by the ATP, the Grand Slam Board, the International Tennis Federation, and the WTA. The Unit was established solely to promote, encourage, and increase the integrity of professional tennis across the globe. According to the TIU statement, on January 1, 2021, the Unit will become a new independent body – the International Tennis Integrity Agency.