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The ITIA has a team of highly trained intelligence professionals who investigate potential corruption in the sport all over the world, based on information received and intelligence gathered. This can include reports from within tennis, alerts from the betting industry, relationships with Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) and analysing available data.
Where there is an indication of corrupt activity, a detailed process will take place where ITIA investigators have the authority to perform interviews and request further information from individuals within tennis, who under the Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme (TACP), have an obligation to comply.
The evidence gathered from this process and any subsequent analysis will form the basis of a report for the ITIA’s Senior Director, Legal to consider whether there is a realistic prospect that a Corruption Offense has been committed.
Criminal proceedings or conviction
Match fixing is recognised as a criminal offense in an increasing number of countries and the ITIA has strong links with LEAs around the world who will share intelligence and notices of criminal convictions relating to the integrity of our sport.
Where a covered person is facing criminal charges or investigation relating to tennis corruption, this will generally take priority. Where permitted by law, the ITIA may be granted access to LEA intelligence, court documents and evidence. Following the receipt of any information of this nature or a criminal conviction, the ITIA will also investigate and apply sporting sanctions where it is appropriate and lawful to do so.
Review of Evidence
On receipt of the file and report from Investigators, the ITIA Senior Director, Legal, will consider the evidence and determine whether there is a realistic prospect that a Corruption Offense has been committed.
If the answer is yes, the ITIA will send a notice to the individual(s) involved.
If the answer is no, the case will be reviewed with the Senior Investigating Officer, which could result in further investigation or the case being closed. Associated information and data may be retained and managed by the ITIA in accordance with our legal obligations.
Notice of Charge
Under the 2021 TACP two categories have been introduced for corruption offenses, Offenses and Major Offenses. The ITIA will determine which category of offense has been committed and notice of this charge will be given to the covered person who must respond within a fixed time period which will be set out in the notice. More detail on the offenses and this process can be found here.
At any time, the ITIA may apply to an independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer (AHO) for a provisional suspension if the criteria in section F.3.a of the TACP rules apply [link - rules]. If the AHO deems the criteria have been met and grants a provisional suspension then the individual will be immediately banned from attending any professional tennis event. If the provisional suspension is still in force 90 days after it was imposed, the covered person may apply for the provisional suspension to be lifted.
How a case progresses will depend on the category of the offense and if the covered person decides to challenge or contest the charge.
The covered person may accept (or not contest) the sanction set out in the Notice of Offense which will be the end of the process and the sanction will come into force. If the covered person disputes that they have committed the offense or contests the sanction this will be considered by an Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer AHO.
If a covered person is charged with a Major Offense and does not contest (or accepts) the charge, then an AHO will sanction this individual.
Where a covered person has been charged with a Major Offense and disputes that they have committed the offense or contests the sanction sought by the ITIA, this will be considered by an AHO. During this process evidence will be presented by both defence and prosecution, witnesses may be called and testimony given before the AHO announces their decision. Should the individual be found guilty (or have admitted the offense but dispute the applicable sanction), the AHO will determine the sanctions imposed. If the AHO finds the covered person did not commit the offense there is no sanction.
A new process exists under the 2021 TACP which allows the ITIA to agree a sanction with a covered person which provides a quicker resolution to the case. Once agreed, these sanctions are not appealable. Covered persons are not obliged to enter these agreements and can always have their case resolved by an AHO if they prefer.
All sanctions imposed by the ITIA and Decisions from AHOs will be published on the ITIA website (with a limited number of exceptions).
The maximum sanction for a Major Offense is a lifetime ban and a $250000 fine, while the maximum penalty for an Offense is a six month ban and $10000 fine.
Covered persons banned from tennis are prohibited from participating in or attending any tennis event outlined in the TACP and will also be subject to restrictions from events sanctioned by national associations.
Other than where the covered person has agreed a sanction with the itia, any covered person who receives a sanction has the right to an independent appeal of the Decision, as does the ITIA. Appeals in relation to Offenses are heard by an AHO. Appeals for Major Offenses are heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).