Bulgarian tennis player Aleksandrina Naydenova has been issued with a lifetime ban from the sport after an investigation by the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) found that she had partaken in match fixing activity multiple times between 2015 and 2019. Additionally, she was charged and found guilty of failing to co-operate with the TIU investigation. Alongside the ban, she has been fined $150,000 (US).
The disciplinary case was heard by Anti-corruption Hearing Officer Richard McLaren. He found that Ms Naydenova made 13 breaches of the Tennis Anti-corruption Programme (TACP) – 12 relating to match fixing and one relating to several incidents of non-co-operation with the TIU investigation process. The subsequent sanction means that from today, 20 November 2020, the player is permanently prohibited from playing in or attending any tennis event authorised or sanctioned by the governing bodies of tennis.
Ms Naydenova who had a highest ITF singles ranking of 89 and WTA ranking of 218, had been provisionally suspended on 27 December 2019 prior to the hearing.
The breaches of the Tennis Anti-corruption Programme (TACP) that Ms Naydenova has been found guilty of are:
Section D.1.d. of the 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 TACPs: “No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any Event.”
Section F.2.b / D.2.c of the 2017 and 2019 TACPs: “All Covered Persons must co-operate fully with investigations conducted by the TIU including giving evidence at hearings, if requested. After a Covered Person received a TIU request for an initial interview or otherwise becomes aware of any TIU investigation involving the Covered Person, the Covered Person shall (i) preserve and not tamper with, damage, disable, destroy or otherwise alter any evidence (including any personal devices described in Section F.2.c.i.) or any other information related to any Corruption Offense and (ii) not solicit, facilitate or advise any other person to fail to preserve, tamper with, damage, disable, destroy or otherwise alter any evidence or other information related to any Corruption Offense.”
The Tennis Integrity Unit is an initiative of the Grand Slam Board, the International Tennis Federation, the ATP and the WTA and established to promote, encourage, enhance and safeguard the integrity of professional tennis worldwide. From 1 January 2021, the TIU will become a new, independent body - the International Tennis Integrity Agency.
Published 20 November 2020 19:00