17 May 2017
1997-ranked player made corrupt approaches, bet on tennis and failed to co-operate with a TIU investigation
Japanese tennis player Junn Mitsuhashi (27) has been banned for life and fined US$50,000 after being found guilty of breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (Program). These included making corrupt approaches to other players, betting on tennis matches and refusing to co-operate with a Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) investigation.
In November 2015 he asked Joshua Chetty*, a player he had previously coached, to make a corrupt approach to a fellow competitor during the ITF Futures F1 Tournament in Stellenbosch, South Africa. The financial inducement offered was $2,000 to underperform in a singles match, and $600 in a doubles match.
In December 2015 Mr Mitsuhashi made a direct approach to a different player at the ITF Futures F4 Tournament in Lagos, Nigeria, asking him to fix aspects of a match.
In addition to engaging in attempted match-fixing, he was also found to have placed 76 bets on tennis matches between October and November 2015. All players are expressly forbidden from betting on the sport.
In spite of repeated requests to engage with the TIU, the player refused to respond or co-operate with enquiries into the allegations against him. Failing to co-operate is an offence in its own right.
All TIU cases are handled by independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officers (AHO), who are responsible for reaching decisions and handing down appropriate sanctions for guilty parties. Mr Mitsuhashi’s case was considered by Ian Mill QC, who imposed the lifetime ban and fine.
The ban from all professional tennis applies with immediate effect and means the player is not allowed to compete in, or attend, any tournament or event organised or sanctioned by the governing bodies of the sport.
Mr Mitsuhashi achieved a career-high singles ranking of 295 in 2009; he had an ATP ranking of 1997 at the end of 2015.
*Joshua Chetty was the subject of a separate TIU investigation and disciplinary hearing that led to him receiving a lifetime ban in September 2016:
The offences for which Mr Mitsuhashi has been sanctioned are:
Section D.1.a: No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, wager or attempt to wager on the outcome or any other aspect of any Event or any other tennis completion
Section D.1.d: No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any Event
Section D.1.e: No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, solicit or facilitate any Player to not use his or her best efforts in any Event
Section D.1.g: No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, offer or provide any money, benefit or Consideration to any other Covered Person with the intention of negatively influencing a Player’s best efforts in any Event
Section F.2.b: All Covered Persons must co-operate fully with the investigations conducted by the TIU including giving evidence at hearings, if requested. No Covered Person shall tamper with or destroy any evidence or other information related to any Corruption Offense.
The Tennis Integrity Unit is an initiative of the Grand Slam Board, the International Tennis Federation, the ATP and the WTA, who are jointly committed to a zero tolerance approach to corruption in tennis.