Match fixing sanction issued to Venezuelan tennis player

Venezuelan tennis player Roberto Maytin has been banned from the sport for 14 years by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) for multiple breaches of integrity rules.

Maytin was found to have violated three of the  Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme’s (TACP) rules between 2017 and 2018, concerning match fixing and match manipulation.

He admitted to ‘indirectly or directly’ attempting to ‘contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any event’, in addition to being approached by persons offering or providing ‘any type of money, benefit or consideration’ to influence the outcome of a match, and failing in his obligation to report such an approach.

The final sanction regarded the acceptance of money or benefits ‘with the intention of negatively influencing a player’s efforts in any event’.

Under the terms of Section F5 of the 2021 TACP, Maytin accepted the sanction and waived the right to a hearing or appeal, following the ITIA’s final judgement.

As well as facing a 14 year ban, the tennis player – who currently ranks 179 in doubles and held a career high ranking of 86 in doubles in 2015, and 643 in singles in 2008 – must also pay a fine of $100,000, of which $75,000 is suspended.

Maytin’s case was dealt with under the 2021 TACP ‘Proposal for Disposition’ framework, allowing for a sanction to be handed down from the ITIA to a player upon the admission of guilt without the need for a hearing.

International integrity threats to the sport of tennis have come under the spotlight in recent months, as the International Betting Integrity Agency (IBIA) revealed in February that 98 alerts for suspicious tennis betting activity were recorded throughout 2020. 

Additionally, Maytin is the latest tennis player to be sanctioned for integrity breaches in relation to match manipulation, with a range of athletes facing similar charges from countries including France, Algeria, Slovakia, Ukraine and the UK.

Last month, CEO of the ITIA Jonny Gray highlighted the need for betting operators to ‘continue their efforts’ to ensure the safeguarding of professional sports from integrity risks, including from organised criminal elements.