Tennis: Banned umpire officiated at US Open, Qatar

LONDON (AFP) - A tennis umpire who was suspended for a year as part of a betting investigation continued to work at tournaments including last year's US Open, media reported on Friday.

The Guardian claimed that Croatia's Denis Pitner, banned for a year in August after passing on information about a player's fitness to a coach and accessing a betting account that was used to place bets on matches, was a line judge at the US Open in September.

He also officiated at the ATP's Qatar Open in Doha in January. The report claimed that Pitner even posted a photograph of himself in the Qatari capital of Doha on his Facebook page.

The ATP, which runs the men's professional game, blamed a "breach in procedures" for Pitner being allowed to work in Doha with a spokesman confirming to the Guardian it would review the issue.

It is also understood that Pitner worked at the Super Seniors team championships in Croatia, an amateur tournament for players over 70, held under the auspices of the Croatian Tennis Federation in September.

"The Croatian Federation was informed in August of his suspension. As with the USTA and ATP, we are looking into ways to ensure that this does not happen again," a spokeswoman for the International Tennis Federation (ITF) told the newspaper.

On Tuesday, the ITF said that two umpires had been banned for corruption and four more were currently suspended while under investigation.

Kirill Parfenov of Kazakhstan was banned for life in February 2015 for contacting another official in a bid to "manipulate the scoring of matches", the ITF said in a joint-statement with the Tennis Integrity Unit.

Tennis was also hit by allegations over elite-level match-fixing made by the BBC and BuzzFeed shortly before the start of the Australian Open last month.

Friday's latest claims came on the same day that the sport's four governing bodies - ATP, WTA, ITF and the Grand Slam Board - revealed the terms of reference for the Independent Review of Integrity in Tennis.

"The review will investigate thoroughly the allegations of corruption in international professional tennis and the effectiveness of existing anti-corruption practices and procedures," said a statement.

"While there is no fixed deadline for the Independent Review Panel to complete its independent review, it is expected that the full review will take at least 12 months with the publication of an interim report during that time."