Tennis wagers result in ban, fine for Thai player

A ball boy is silhouetted as he holds up a tennis ball during a match at the Australian Open.
A ball boy is silhouetted as he holds up a tennis ball during a match at the Australian Open.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • The London-based Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) has announced that unranked Thai player Jatuporn Nalamphun has been banned for 18 months and fined after being found guilty of offences under the Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme.

The 22-year-old admitted to three offences of betting on tennis matches between July and November 2014 and was found guilty of a further offence of failing to co-operate with the TIU investigation.

He has never held a ranking and his £3,400 (S$6,823) fine is considerably greater than his reported career earnings of £476.

The initial ban imposed on him was six months but independent anti-corruption hearing officer Ian Mill, a senior English lawyer, extended the ban after finding the player guilty of a further charge of failing to co-operate with the TIU.

In a TIU statement on Wednesday, Mill said that "the full and timely co-operation by participants in TIU investigations is of paramount efforts being made by the TIU to eliminate corruption in professional tennis".

Last week, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced that two umpires had been banned for corruption and four more were suspended while under investigation.

Kirill Parfenov of Kazakhstan was banned for life in February last year for contacting another official in a bid to "manipulate the scoring of matches", the ITF said in a joint statement with the TIU.

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.

After those allegations became public, the tennis authorities announced an independent review into their fight against corruption.

The priority of the review, headed by Adam Lewis - a leading expert on sports law - is to look at the structure of the TIU, including how to make it more transparent and better resourced.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 19, 2016, with the headline 'Tennis wagers result in ban, fine for Thai player'. Print Edition | Subscribe