Match fixingSeven Belgian tennis players have all received heavy suspensions and hefty fines for their part in the match-fixing scandal surrounding a Belgian-Armenian gang. He was active on the circuit between 2014 and 2018.
LOOK. De Greef, Barbosa and Witmeur were already suspended in 2021
Arthur De Greef, once number 113 in the world ranking (in 2017), is the best-known name. The others involved are Arnaud Graisse, Julien Dubail, Romain Barbosa, Maxime Authom, Omar Salman and Alec Witmeur. The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) confirmed their punishments today. They had all already pleaded guilty in the Oudenaarde court.
Like Barbosa and Witmeur, De Greef had already been conditionally suspended since May 2021. At that time, they were formally suspected by the Belgian court and the trio was still active on the tennis circuit. De Greef and Barbosa pleaded guilty to nine breaches of the TACP (Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme), Witmeur to six.
De Greef and Barbosa received a ban of three years and nine months, Witmeur of two years and seven months. De Greef and Barbosa are sidelined until February 26, 2025 and must pay a $45,000 fine (of which $31,500 is conditional). Witmeur is fined $30,000 (effective $9,000) and is suspended until December 26, 2023.
18,867 euros fine for Graisse
For the four others – Graisse (12 infringements), Dubail (9 infringements), Salman (6 infringements) and Authom (6 infringements) – the suspension applies from the day they accepted their sanction. Graisse was sentenced to four years and ten months (until August 1, 2028) and must pay $60,000 ($18,000 effective). Dubail faces a three-year, nine-month suspension (until July 3, 2027) and must pay $45,000 ($13,500 effective).
Authom, number 143 in the world in 2013, received the same punishment as Dubail but a slightly smaller fine ($30,000, of which $9,000 was effective). Finally, Salman must be suspended for two years and seven months (until May 8, 2026) and pay a $30,000 fine (effective $9,000).
During their suspension, those involved will not be allowed to play, coach or attend any tennis event organized by members of the ITIA: the ATP, ITF, WTA, Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and US Open or any national organization.
Earlier this year, 28 people were convicted in the case for, among other things, criminal organization, fraud, money laundering, participation in influenced gambling, forgery and computer forgery. The Belgian tennis players falsified matches and set scores in exchange for bribes.
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