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Match-fixing Scandal Rocks Tennis World, More Than 5 Banned Over Multiple Offences

The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) on Friday imposed sanctions on six players for their involvement in a match-fixing scandal.

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The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) on Friday imposed sanctions on six players over their involvement in a match-fixing scandal. The ITIA imposed the embargoes after the players were pronounced guilty by a Spanish court following a five-year-long investigation. The players were convicted as part of a wider case involving organised crime, including betting. The players have now been banned from playing or attending any tennis tournament that comes under the jurisdiction of the world tennis governing body or national federations.  

"The conclusion of this long-term investigation is an important moment for tennis in its fight against corruption. Whilst we take no pleasure in seeing six individuals receive criminal convictions and bans, the message is clear: match-fixing can lead to a jail sentence and can end your career in tennis. It also serves as a warning that organised crime is targeting sport, and governments and law enforcement agencies, as well as anti-corruption bodies in sport, need to take that threat seriously," ITIA Chair Jennie Price said in a statement. 

"This is one of the most significant infiltrations of tennis by organised crime that we have seen. We welcome the involvement of law enforcement agencies and the prosecution of entire criminal networks, not just the players involved. This ruling sends a strong message that match-fixing is a crime which can see criminal convictions," ITIA CEO Jonny Gray said.  

ITIA's sanctions 

The six players who have been handed long bans and hefty financial penalties are Marc Fornell Mesteres, Jorge Marse Vidri, Carlos Ortega, Jamie Ortega, Marcos Tarralbo, and Pedro Bernabe Franco. Fornell has received the longest ban amongst all the players convicted for the offence. The former World No. 236 has been banned from tennis for 22.5 years and fined $250,000. Jamie Ortega has received a lighter sanction compared to others as he has been banned from tennis for 7.5 years and fined $100,000. The rest have been banned for 15 years and fined anything between $15,000 to $150,000. 

  1. Marc Fornell Mestres - 22 years and six months ban, $250,000 fine
  2. Jorge Marse Vidri - 15 years ban, $15,000 fine 
  3. Carlos Ortega - 15 years, $150,000 fine 
  4. Jaime Ortega - 7 years and six months, $100,000 fine 
  5. Marcos Tarralbo - 15 years, $100,000 fine
  6. Pedro Bernabe Franco - 15 years, $100,000 fine

Image: AP

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