French tennis players Mick Lescure and Jules Okala have been provisionally suspended by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA).
With the decision being made by independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer, Charles Hollander QC, the athletes are pending the full consideration of allegations against them of breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program.
The provisional action was granted under section F.3 of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program rules, which read: “The ITIA may at any time impose a Provisional Suspension on a Covered Person, including (i) before a Notice of Major Offence has been issued, (ii) before a Hearing or (iii) at any time after a Hearing but prior to the AHO’s issuance of a written Decision.”
Furthermore, the governing body has revealed that players appealed the initial decision of 24 March 2022 to provisionally suspend them, which was denied by AHO Hollander.
They are accordingly prohibited from competing in or attending any sanctioned tennis events organised by the ITIA.
Lescure has a highest ATP ranking of 487 and Okala has a highest ATP ranking of 338.
In recent weeks, the ITIA announced that Jonny Gray is set to leave his position as CEO of the organisation later this year – a role he took on in 2019.
Gray was initially tasked with overseeing the creation of the ITIA as the replacement for the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU), the sports integrity body of tennis’ global governing authorities, and continued in his role for the next three years.