ITIA Quarterly Update - Q3

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After her appointment in May 2021, Nicole Sapstead officially joined the organisation at the start of September. After 12 years working at UK Anti-Doping, the last six as CEO, Nicole begins the process of integrating the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (TADP) into the ITIA.

Subject to final Board approvals, the ITIA will become responsible for administering the TADP globally for the sport from 1 January 2022.

Sanctions

Five players have been sanctioned in the last three months:

Temur Ismailov from Uzbekistan banned for life and compatriot Amal Sultanbekov banned for five years:

https://www.itia.tennis/news/sanctions/two-uzbekistan-players-banned/

Simohamed Hirs from Morocco banned for life:

https://www.itia.tennis/news/sanctions/simohamed-hirs-banned-for-life/

Hichem Yasri from Algeria banned for three months:

https://www.itia.tennis/news/sanctions/hichem-yasri-banned/

Dario Drebenstedt from Germany banned for one year:

https://www.itia.tennis/news/sanctions/dario-debenstedt-banned

In addition, seven provisional suspensions were confirmed, pending further investigations or hearings:

Six Moroccan players:

https://www.itia.tennis/news/sanctions/six-moroccan-players-suspended/

Mauricio Echazu Puente from Peru:

https://www.itia.tennis/news/sanctions/mauricio-echazu-puente-from-peru-provisionally-suspended/

Betting alerts

Between July and September 2021, the ITIA received a total of 38 match alerts through its confidential Memoranda of Understanding with the regulated betting industry. This includes two alerts at The Championships, Wimbledon and two alerts at the US Open.

Tournament type

Alerts

Grand Slam – Wimbledon

2

Grand Slam – US Open

2

ATP Challenger

13

ATP World Tour 250

1

Davis Cup

1

M25 Men’s – World Tennis Tour

9

M15 Men’s – World Tennis Tour

7

W15 Women’s – World Tennis Tour

2

W80 Women’s – World Tennis Tour

1

TOTAL

38

A note about match alerts:

Every alert reported to the ITIA is recorded, assessed and followed up as an indicator that something inappropriate may have happened. It is important to note that an alert on its own is not evidence of match fixing.

Unusual betting patterns can occur for many reasons other than match fixing – for example incorrect odds-setting; well-informed betting; player fitness, fatigue or form; playing conditions and personal circumstances.

The number and distribution of alerts are reported quarterly. Care should be taken in drawing any conclusions about prevailing corruption across the tennis ‘pyramid’ as there are many more matches at the bottom than at the top. More complete analysis will be published in our annual report.

Where analysis of a match alert does suggest corrupt activity, the ITIA conducts a full, confidential investigation.

Education

Education and prevention remain at the heart of the ITIA’s work and with some travel restrictions now easing, the ITIA Education team is able to get to more tournaments and events in person.

The team were represented at the US Open where they were able to provide face to face sessions to a number of people within the tennis family and have also been providing education sessions to players, coaches and officials at the Wheelchair World Team Cup event in Sardinia, Italy.

It is worth noting that both finalists of the women’s event at the US Open, Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez have both been part of previous ITIA one-on-one briefings with junior players, as part of the WTA Rookie Hours programme.

And targeting junior players remains a focus, with online sessions about the dangers of corruption in tennis taking place with those taking part in the Davis Cup and Billie-Jean King Cup juniors events taking place in Turkey.     

The ITIA has recently launched its Instagram channel, following the Education team – @itia.tennis

The original article can be found here.

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