Seven Belgian tennis players have been suspended by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) over allegations that they have breached the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP).
The decision was taken as a result of a nationwide criminal investigation by the ITIA and Belgian authorities into a suspected match-fixing syndicate, concluding with the suspensions and a five-year custodial sentence for the convicted ring-leader, Grigor Sargsyan.
The suspended players were named as Arnaud Graisse, Arthur de Greef, Julien Dubail, Romain Barbosa, Maxime Authom, Omar Salman and Alec Witmeur.
Witmeur, de Greef and Barbosa were already provisionally suspended by an Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer since May 2021, which they will be credited under the new period of ineligibility.
All players have also been handed fines varying from $30,000 to $45,000 – more details on the financial penalties can be found in the ITIA’s official statement on the suspensions.
“These sanctions conclude ITIA proceedings against Belgian players in relation to the Sargsyan match-fixing ring, though syndicate cases relating to players from outside Belgium remain ongoing,” the statement read.
For the duration of the suspensions, all players are prohibited from playing, coaching or attending any tennis event that is overlooked by the national tennis association or any ITIA members, which include the ATP, ITF, WTA, Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, and the US Open.