Tennis coach banned from sport for life for rigging matches

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A tennis coach has received a lifetime ban from the sport after committing a record number of match-fixing offences. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

A long list of offenses

A tennis coach from Chile has been hit with a lifetime ban from the sport after being found guilty of a record number of match-fixing offences. In total, Sebastián Rivera was found guilty of 64 offences, the most the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) and the former Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) have ever found for a single person.

failed to meaningfully engage in the disciplinary process”

With the lifetime ban, Rivera can never again participate in or attend any tennis event authorized by an official tennis governing body. This goes for both play and practice. He will also have to pay a fine of $250,000. Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer Jane Mulcahy QC said Rivera was found “not to engage meaningfully in the disciplinary process”.

Multiple Offenses

There were four key areas of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP) of 2017 and 2018 that the offenses covered. These rules generally prohibit any party involved in a given tennis event from betting in any way on its outcome.

As a player, Rivera was once ranked 705th in the world before becoming a coach.

The ITIA did not provide specifics, but simply cited the sections of the TACP that Rivera violated. These include soliciting or assisting someone to bet on the outcome of a match, intentionally affecting the outcome of a match, bribing someone to kick off a match, or accepting a pot -de-vin to compel someone to start a match.

A serious problem

Match-fixing in tennis is a problem that mainly affects the lower echelons of the professional circuit. Players often struggle to make money and can be targeted by people looking to rig matches. There have been numerous cases of match fixing in tennis in recent years, highlighting the problems that exist.

The ITIA was created in 2021 as an independent body to try to protect and improve the integrity of the game across the world. Lengthy bans have been issued to several players and coaches lately. One of the most notable offenders was prominent Dutch manager Max Wenders, who received a 12-year ban in July after pleading guilty to various match-fixing offences.

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