The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has banned Slovenian tennis official Marko Ducman for more than a decade after he was found to have placed bets on matches.
Ducman is prohibited from officiating or participating in tennis events sanctioned by ITIA members. The ban is in effect for 10 years and six months, until March 7, 2034.
The ITIA stated that Ducman violated its Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP) by betting on tennis matches. He was also found to have manipulated data from games where he was an official to facilitate betting.
Ducman is an international level and bronze badge official who has refereed at ITF, ATP and WTA tournaments. He admitted four breaches of the TACP, co-operated fully with the ITIA investigation and accepted an agreed sanction.
The official also waived his right to a hearing before an independent anti-corruption hearing officer. He has been suspended since September 8, 2023, with the suspension retroactive to that date.
In addition, Ducman will pay a fine of $75,000 (£59,802/€68,753). Of that amount, $56,250 will be suspended.
ITIA is taking action against corruption violations in tennis
Ducman is the latest person to feel the wrath of the ITIA in recent weeks and months. The ITIA has imposed a number of sanctions as part of its tough crackdown on corruption.
Last week it imposed sanctions on five players over their roles in a match-fixing syndicate in Belgium. Alberto Rojas Maldonado, Christopher Díaz Figueroa, José Antonio Rodríguez Rodríguez, Antonio Ruiz Rosales and Orlando Alcántara Rangel will serve suspensions.
Mexican Maldonado received a lifetime ban from tennis and a $250,000 fine. He was found guilty of 92 violations of the TACP and was said to have played a crucial role in corrupting other players.
Guatemalan Figueroa also received a lifetime ban and a $75,000 fine for 13 TACP violations. Figueroa previously served a three-year ban for match-fixing.
Belgian syndicate at the center of tennis match-fixing
The case concerns a Belgian match-fixing syndicate led by Grigor Sargsyan. The most recent criminal case resulted in the conviction of Sargsyan, who was sentenced to five years in prison.
Described by the Washington Post as “the man who built the biggest match-fixing ring in tennis”Since 2018, Sargsyan has traveled the world building a network of more than 180 professional players across five continents.
The ITIA also banned seven Belgian players earlier this month after a court ruled they were involved in the same match-fixing syndicate.
The players included Arnaud Graisse, Arthur de Greef, Julien Dubail, Romain Barbosa, Maxime Authom, Omar Salman and Alec Witmeur. Three of the players – Witmeur, de Greef and Barbosa – have been provisionally suspended since May 2021.