Tennis: Moroccan banned for life after record 135 match-fixing offences
GDANSK - Younes Rachidi, a former tennis player from Morocco, has been banned from the sport for life after being found guilty of fixing 135 matches, the highest number of offences by one individual ever detected, according to the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA).
The 36-year-old was involved in match-fixing with two Algerian players recently banned by the ITIA, the independent body said, with the cases uncovered following law enforcement investigations in conjunction with the ITIA in Belgium.
“The case was ruled on by independent anti-corruption hearing officer Janie Soubliere who found all charges proved, the 135 breaches ‘egregious’ and imposed a fine of US$34,000 (S$45,000) in addition to the life ban,” the ITIA said in a statement on Thursday.
“This is now the highest number of offences by one individual ever detected by the ITIA or its predecessor the Tennis Integrity Unit.”
Rachidi, who had a highest ATP doubles ranking of 473rd, is permanently prohibited from playing in, coaching at or attending any event authorised or sanctioned by the governing bodies of tennis.
He played most of his modest career on the third-tier Futures Tour.
The ITIA was established by the sport’s international governing bodies to oversee integrity matters.
Separately, Emma Raducanu has been handed a wild card for the WTA 1000 event at Indian Wells in March, tournament organisers announced on Thursday.
The Briton, who became an international sensation at 18 years old when she won the 2021 US Open as a qualifier, struggled with injuries and inconsistent play in 2022 and has seen her world ranking plummet to 80th.
In January, she suffered an ankle injury in Auckland before falling to American teenager Coco Gauff in the second round of the Australian Open.
Raducanu was troubled by pain in her abs early on but bounced back to force a second set tiebreak in a match that offered fans a tantalising glimpse into the future of women’s tennis. - REUTERS, AFP