The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has banned Bulgarian official Stefan Milanov for 16 years after he was found guilty of a series of corruption offences.

Milanov was charged with 17 ITIA Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP) violations. His ban is valid from the date of the decision (December 28, 2023) until December 27, 2039.

All charges relate to five tennis matches Milanov officiated in 2021.

The specific violations identified by the ITIA include five related to Section D.1.b of the TACP 2021. This includes the direct or indirect facilitation of a bet on the outcome or other aspect of an event by another person.

Additionally, five violations of Section D.1.m of the TACP were identified – delaying or manipulating the entry of assessment data from all events. A further five violations related to Section D.1.n – direct or indirect attempt, agreement or conspiracy to commit corruption offences.

The ITIA said the remaining two violations relate to Section F.2.b of the TACP 2023. This covers failure to fully cooperate with investigations conducted by the ITIA.

No response to the ITIA allegations

Milanov, a national-level official, did not respond to the allegations. The ITIA said this meant he had effectively admitted liability to all charges and agreed to sanctions.

The ban applies to all tennis events sanctioned or sanctioned by the members of the ITIA. Milanov must also pay a fine of $75,000 (£58,982/€68,523).

Tennis ban follows earlier ban for Milanov

The ban comes after Milanov already served a six-month ban for betting offenses in 2022. He admitted all the violations identified by the ITIA at the time.

Milanov made several bets on tennis, including on a match where he was refereeing. Section D.1.a of the 2022 TACP Bans protected individuals from betting on tennis competitions and events.

The six-month suspension ran from November 15, 2022 to May 14, 2023. The sanction also included a $10,000 fine, of which $5,000 was suspended.

ITIA takes further action against rule violations

This month, the ITIA also banned French tennis player Leny Mitjana after finding him guilty of corruption and match-fixing. Mitjana will serve a ten-year ban from the sport until December 2033.

The Frenchman, who achieved the highest singles ranking of his career at number 458 in 2018, denied all allegations.

The case was the latest related to a completed criminal case against a match-fixing syndicate in Belgium. Syndicate leader Grigor Sargsyan was recently sentenced to five years in prison.

In total, the ITIA has suspended 21 players and officials in the same case in the last three months.