Tennis official banned by ITIA over betting violations

credit: Shutterstock
credit: Shutterstock

The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has handed a ban to Bulgarian tennis official Pavel Atanasov over breaches of betting rules. 

An investigation into the tennis official found that Atanasov breached ITIA betting rules 21 times under the organisation’s Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP). 

The organisation explained that in withdrawing from proceedings, Atanasov effectively admitted liability for numerous TACP offences between 2019 and 2023.

The case was ruled on by AHO Richard Young, who also issued Atanasov a $10,000 fine. The ban is effective from 4 March, 2024. 

The ITIA stated: “Atanasov, who has officiated at ITF $15k and $25k tournaments in Bulgaria, is permanently prohibited from officiating at or attending any tennis event authorised or sanctioned by the members of the ITIA (ATP, ITF, WTA, Tennis Australia, Fédération Française de Tennis, Wimbledon and USTA) or any national association.”

The national-level official initially contested the charges before withdrawing his appeal ahead of a hearing with an independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer. 

Atanasov’s betting offences included the manipulation of scoring data of matches for betting purposes, facilitating wagering, conspiring to commit corruption offences, wagering on tennis matches and failure to report corrupt approaches.

In recent months, the ITIA also announced that James Blake had accepted a sanction for breaching tennis’ betting sponsorship rules. The Miami Open Tournament Director and former tennis player reportedly fully cooperated with the investigation and did not contest the charge. Notably, the ITIA accepted that the violation was unintentional and issued a fine of $56,250 with a further suspended fine of $131,250 and a suspended ban of 18 months.

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