ITIA bans two tennis players for corruption linked to Belgian syndicate

The ITIA has issued Alejandro Mendoza Crespo with the maximum penalty of a lifetime ban from tennis for 20 offences. Meanwhile, Jorge Panta Herreros has been suspended for three years for four infringements.

The sanctions were handed down by independent anti-corruption hearing officer Professor Richard McLaren. This came after a formal hearing in early March, with the suspensions effective from 4 April onwards.

Mendoza and Panta were also issued with fines of $250,000 (£199,619/€231,942) and $10,000 respectively. The pair will be banned from playing, coaching or attending any event sanctioned by ITIA members, including the ATP and WTA.

Last week, Eduardo Agustín Torre was suspended for five years following 35 breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme (TACP). Torre was also fined $35,000.

New ITIA sanctions follow syndicate-related tennis bans

The ITIA stated that the suspensions of Mendoza and Panta were linked to the recent criminal case in Belgium, where match-fixing syndicate leader Grigor Sargsyan was given a five-year custodial sentence.

Following the sentencing, seven players were banned in November for varying durations. This was after they were found to have breached the TACP.

Alec Witmeur, Arnaud Graisse, Arthur de Greef, Julien Dubail, Romain Barbosa, Maxime Authom and Omar Salman were all suspended.

There were two more bans relating to the Belgium case earlier this year. French player Leny Mitjana was suspended for 10 years for corruption, while Anis Ghorbel was also banned for three years for match-fixing.

The bans issued to Mendoza and Panta mean 25 players and officials have now been banned relating to the case in Belgium.

IBIA Q1 integrity reports highlights tennis concerns

In April, the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) released its ‘Integrity Report’ for Q1 of this year.

The IBIA’s total of 56 Q1 alerts was a 12% increase on the 50 notifications from Q1 2023. The figure was also 64.7% up on the final quarter of 2023.

There were 14 alerts relating to tennis over the first quarter of the year. This was up from the 12 notifications during the same quarter last year.

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