Tennis umpire handed 10-year ban


Umpire Denis Pitner has been banned from officiating for 10 years by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), after being found guilty of several breaches of the Code of Conduct for Officials.

The ITF opened an investigation into Pitner in February, following allegations the Croatian had worked as a line judge during the 2015 US Open at a time when he should have been serving a year-long suspension for betting offences.

On Tuesday, tennis' world governing body confirmed Pitner had again been sanctioned, this time more severely.

A statement read: "Mr Pitner was found guilty by an ITF disciplinary panel of the following charges:

"Failure to notify the United States Tennis Association of the suspension of his White Badge certification.

"Misrepresentation to the Qatar Tennis Federation that he held a current White Badge certification in his application to officiate at the 2016 Qatar Open.

"Receipt of payment for officiating at the 2016 Qatar Open at the rate applicable for a White Badge official.

"Misrepresentation to the Lawn Tennis Association that he held a current White Badge certification in his application to officiate at The Championships Wimbledon.

"Failure to report the violations set out above."

The statement continued: "The ITF disciplinary panel noted that Mr Pitner had previously had his White Badge and Chair Umpire Certification suspended for the period 1 August 2015 until 31 July 2016, and these further violations of the Code had all occurred within a period of six months from the suspension of his White Badge.

"The panel determined that Mr Pitner would have his ITF officiating certification suspended for 10 years with immediate effect, which means that that he is unable to officiate at Grand Slam tournaments and events organised or sanctioned by the ATP, WTA and ITF until 19 April 2026."