The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has banned seven Belgian players after they were ruled to have been involved with a match-fixing syndicate.
Seven Belgian tennis players have been found guilty of breaching ITIA Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme (TACP) rules, and have been handed bans and fines of various lengths and amounts.
Arnaud Graisse, Arthur de Greef, Julien Dubail, Romain Barbosa, Maxime Authom, Omar Salman and Alex Witmeur make up the seven, and have all been convicted in Belgian courts with agreed ITIA sanctions.
The Belgian match-fixing syndicate that the case relates to is led by Grigor Sargsyan, who has recently been handed a five-year custodial sentence, with the Washington Post describing him as ‘the man who build the biggest match-fixing ring in tennis’.
De Greef and Barbosa admitted to nine breaches, with the former being suspended for three years and nine months, while the latter is banned until 26 February 2025. Both were also served with a $45,000 fine ($31,500 suspended).
Witmeur admitted to six breaches, with the ITIA confirming that he has been handed a two year and seven month suspension, as well as a $30,000 fine ($21,000 suspended).
Graisse, who is unranked, has received the lenghtiest ban after being flagged for 12 breaches, as he faces four years and 10 months away from the sport, as well as a whopping $60,000 fine, with $42,000 suspended.
The three other bans see Dubail, who reached a career high ATP singles ranking of 371 in 2012, banned for three years and nine months with a $45,000 fine ($31,500 suspended), Authom banned for three years and nine months along with a $30,000 fine ($21,000 suspended) and Salman banned for two years and seven months along with his fine of $30,000 ($21,000 suspended).
Whilst suspended, the players are prohibited from playing in, coaching at, or attending any professional tennis events sanctioned by members of the ITIA: ATP, ITF, WTA, Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and US Open, or any national association.