Tennis has thus far been the sport most affected by gambling violations among players and the officials that govern it, and it appears that trend will continue.
The sport added another one of its officials to the list of those admitting breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP).
Marko Ducman, an umpire from Slovenia, was suspended for 10 years and six months on Thursday. His suspension came after an investigation by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) found that Ducman was active in multiple instances of match betting at the best sports betting apps for events he was a part of, as well as being involved in data manipulation for the purposes of wagering.
Ducman admitted to four such violations.
The ruling went on to say that: “Ducman, a bronze-badge official who has officiated at ITF, ATP, and WTA tournaments, co-operated fully with the ITIA investigation, and accepted an agreed sanction, waiving their right to a hearing before an independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer. Ducman has also been fined $75,000, with $56,250 suspended.”
The rule in question
Tennis, along with all sports involved in the growing scene at the best sports betting sites, has been forced to create a concrete set of rules surrounding its officials and players gambling. Ducman, in the cases cited, was directly involved in matches in which he was involved.
Tennis' governing bodies do have clear language regarding the consequences of violating corruption policies: If you violate the rules, you will be suspended.
As for penalties in Ducman’s case, the TACP concluded its investigation by stating that: “There is a likelihood that the Covered Person has committed a Major Offense and in the absence of a Provisional Suspension, the integrity of tennis would be undermined and the harm resulting from the absence of a Provisional Suspension outweighs the Hardship of the Provisional Suspension on the Covered Person.”
What the suspension means
The lengthy 10-plus-year suspension means that Ducman will likely never officiate a professional tennis match again. His suspension runs through March 7, 2034, and will keep Ducman from having any part of matches sanctioned by ITF, ATP, and WTP.
Ducman is also now banned from working the Australian Open, the U.S. Open, Wimbledon, and the French Open, as well as any other nationally sanctioned pro tennis event.
The suspension speaks to the seriousness of the matter.
According to an International Betting Integrity Association study conducted recently, tennis continues to lead the way in terms of suspicious sports betting alerts. This comes despite rules violations and suspensions in the past, as well as increased scrutiny by decision-makers in the sport around the world.
Other recent breaches
American tennis player Adam El Mihdawy admitted to taking part in match-fixing in a tournament in 2016 and received a three-and-a-half-year suspension.
In May, Heriberto Morales Churata, a Bolivian chair umpire, received a six-year suspension for his role in manipulating scores during ITF World Tennis Tour events.