16th July 2020

Belarussian tennis umpire Alexey Izotov suspended for three years & fined $10,000 for corruption

• National official failed to report a corrupt approach and solicited other umpires to become involved in manipulation of match scoring 

Belarussian national tennis umpire Alexey Izotov has been suspended from officiating in professional tennis for three years and fined $10,000 after being found guilty of failing to report a corrupt approach to the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) and of soliciting other officials to manipulate match scores. A Tennis Integrity Unit investigation established that Mr Izotov, 22, failed to report a corrupt approach he received in November 2019 while he was officiating as a chair umpire at a W25 ITF Women’s event in Minsk, Belarus.

The approach offered him payment in return for delaying the inputting of scores to his PDA device, to facilitate other parties to bet on matches. In addition to failing to report the approach, he subsequently made a similar offer to other officials.

The case was adjudicated by independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer Prof Richard McLaren. His findings of guilt and subsequent sanction means that with effect from 16 July 2020, Mr Izotov is prohibited from officiating in or attending any tennis event authorised or sanctioned by the governing bodies of tennis for a period of three years. The relevant Sections of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP) covering the offences are as follows:

Section D.2.b.i. – In the event any Related Person or Tournament Support Person is approached by any person who offers or provides any type of money, benefit or Consideration to a Related Person or Tournament Support Person to (i) influence or attempt to influence the outcome of any aspect of any Event, or (ii) provide Inside Information, it shall be the Related Person’s or Tournament Support Person’s obligation to report such incident to the TIU – as soon as possible. 

Section D.1.b. – No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, solicit, facilitate, or conspire to solicit or facilitate any other person to wager on the outcome or any other aspect of any Event or any other tennis competition. For the avoidance of doubt, to solicit or facilitate to wager shall include, but not be limited to: display of live tennis betting odds on a Covered Person’s website; writing articles for a tennis betting publication or website; conducting personal appearances for, or otherwise participating in any event run by, a tennis betting company or any other company or entity directly affiliated with a tennis betting company; promoting a tennis betting company to the general public through posts on social media; and appearing in commercial advertisements that encourage others to bet on tennis

Section D.1.d. – No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive, attempt to contrive, agree to contrive, or conspire to contrive the outcome, or any other aspect, of any Event. …

Section D.1.j.  – No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, offer, provide, or conspire to offer or provide any money, benefit or Consideration to any Tournament Support Personnel in exchange for any information or benefit relating to a tournament. 

The Tennis Integrity Unit is an initiative of the ATP, WTA, ITF and Grand Slam Board, who are jointly committed to a zero tolerance approach to betting-related corruption in professional tennis.

• This media release was published by the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) on 16 July 2020. Click here for the original.

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