Tennis: French umpire banned for life for betting offences

PARIS (REUTERS) - French tennis official Morgan Lamri has been banned for life due to multiple betting-related offences, the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) said on Tuesday.

The 22-year-old, who has been umpire on the challenger and future tour and is listed as an inactive player on the ATP website, was found guilty of betting and "contriving/attempting to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any event," the TIU said in a statement.

The ITU was formed in 2008 at the initiative of the International Tennis Federation, the ATP, the WTA and the Grand Slam Board to protect the integrity of the sport.

Lamri has reportedly insisted he is innocent.

"I am completely innocent," he was reported as saying. "I don't understand how they can find me guilty without any material proof."

He admitted he did bet on matches, but only had small wagers not more than 130 euros (S$210).

"I placed bets just for my own amusement," he said. "It for just for fun and I never won money."