Two tennis officials banned and four more investigated over match-fixing


Two tennis officials have been banned on match-fixing charges and a further four are currently under investigation by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).

The ITF said in a statement that Kazakh official Kirill Parfenov was "decertified for life" in February 2015 after attempting to manipulate the scoring of matches by contacting another official of Facebook.

Croatian Denis Pitner was also given a 12-month ban on August 1 for providing information on the fitness of a player to a coach while a tournament was ongoing and "regularly logging on to a betting account from which bets were placed on tennis matches."

Both decisions were reached following investigations from the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) as part of the ITF's Code of Conduct.

In 2014, the TIU issued a life ban to Morgan Lamri following an investigation into gambling and match-fixing claims.

The ITF added on the quartet of unnamed officials: "Four officials are currently suspended pending the completion of ongoing investigations by the TIU. 

"In order to ensure no prejudice of any future hearing we cannot publicly disclose the nature or detail of those investigations. Should any official be found guilty of an offence, it will be announced publicly."

The bans follow allegations of widespread match-fixing made before the Australian Open last month in a joint investigation by BuzzFeed and the BBC.

It was claimed that tennis authorities failed to act upon repeated warnings regarding claims of match-fixing involving a number of players on the professional circuit.

It was also alleged that a US Open champion and a doubles winner at Wimbledon were among a group of 16 players who had repeatedly been reported for losing when highly suspicious bets were placed against them.