The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) has today confirmed that two Bulgarian tennis players have been banned and face significant fines, after being convicted of a number of corruption offences.
Karen Khachatryan has been handed a lifetime ban from the sport and a fine of $250,000 (US). His brother, Yuri Khachatryan has been banned for ten years and fined $50,000 (US) following a TIU investigation and hearing.
A TIU investigation established that between 2017 and 2019, 26 year old Karen Khachatryan was responsible for numerous breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme, including:
- Five cases of match fixing
- Nine cases of soliciting other players not to use best efforts
- Repeated failure to co-operate with the TIU investigation
As a result of his conviction, Mr Khachatryan is now permanently excluded from competing in or attending any sanctioned tennis event organised or recognised by the governing bodies of the sport and must pay a fine of $250,000 (US).
He had been provisionally suspended from all professional tennis since June 2019, as a result of concerns about his alleged involvement in corruption.
The investigation also established that 20 year old Yuri Khachatryan was also responsible for breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme, including:
- Making corrupt approaches to a fellow professional player
- Delaying in complying with the TIU’s demands for information, providing devices with which he had tampered and provided false information
- Wagered on tennis
- Facilitated others’ gambling on tennis
As a result of his conviction he is now excluded from competing in or attending any sanctioned tennis event organised or recognised by the governing bodies of the sport for a period of ten years. He has been ordered to pay a fine of $50,000 (US).
He had also been provisionally suspended from all professional tennis since June 2019, as a result of the concerns about his alleged involvement in corruption.
The breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program the pair have committed relate to:
Section D.1.b: “No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, solicit or facilitate any other person to wager on the outcome or any other aspect of any Event or any other tennis competition. For the avoidance of doubt, to solicit or facilitate to wager shall include, but not be limited to: display of live tennis betting odds on a Covered Person website; writing articles for a tennis betting publication or website; conducting personal appearances for a tennis betting company; and appearing in commercials encouraging others to bet on tennis.”
Section D.1.d: No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any Event”.
Section D.1.e: “No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, solicit or facilitate any Player to not use his or her best efforts in any Event”.
Section D.2.a.i: In the event any Player is approached by any person who offers or provides any type of money, benefit or Consideration to a Player (i) influence the outcome or any other aspect of any Event, or (ii) provide Inside Information, it shall be the Player’s obligation to report such incident to the TIU as soon as possible.”
Section F.2.b: “All Covered Persons must co-operate fully with investigations conducted by the TIU including giving evidence at hearings, if requested. After a Covered Person receives 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 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, who are jointly committed to a zero tolerance approach to corruption in tennis.
Published 04 November 2020 15:00
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