Lindahl banned seven years for rigging match

File photo of Australian tennis player Nick Lindahl. Lindahl has been banned for seven years and fined US$35,000 (S$50,000) for match-fixing in a 2013 tournament.
File photo of Australian tennis player Nick Lindahl. Lindahl has been banned for seven years and fined US$35,000 (S$50,000) for match-fixing in a 2013 tournament.PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY • Former Australian tennis player Nick Lindahl has been banned for seven years and fined US$35,000 (S$50,000) for match-fixing in a 2013 tournament, the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) has said.

Lindahl, who reached a career-high ranking of No. 187, was found guilty of attempting to contrive the outcome of an event and failing to cooperate with a TIU investigation.

The case related to his offer to throw a match at a 2013 Futures tournament in Australia and a refusal to provide his mobile phone for forensic investigations at the TIU's request.

"Although Mr Lindahl, 28, retired from the sport in 2013, today's decision prevents him from resuming playing professional tennis for the seven years of the ban," the TIU said in a statement.

"He is also prohibited from attending any tournament or event organised or sanctioned by the governing bodies of the sport for that period."

Two other players, Brandon Walkin and Isaac Frost, were also disciplined after being found guilty of corruption at the same tournament.

Walkin, ranked No. 1,066, was slapped with a six-month suspension for passing a corrupt proposal to another party on behalf of Lindahl. His punishment was suspended for six months, meaning he is free to continue playing.

Frost, ranked No. 1,515, was found guilty of refusing to turn over his phone for analysis. He has already served a one-month suspension, the TIU revealed, with no further action taken.

The sanctions come just days after police in Australia said an 18-year-old had been charged with match-fixing at a tournament in the Australian state of Victoria last October.

He was widely named in local media as Oliver Anderson, an emerging star who is the reigning Australian Open boys' champion. He was reportedly approached to drop a set.

The claim underlined concerns about corruption in tennis as the world's leading players assemble in Melbourne for the first Grand Slam of the season, starting next week.

World No. 1 Andy Murray urged severe punishments for anyone found cheating in light of the charge laid against Anderson.

"If it's happening, there should be the most severe punishments for whoever is involved in it," the Scot said.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 11, 2017, with the headline 'Lindahl banned seven years for rigging match'. Print Edition | Subscribe