The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) announced the suspension of Percy Flores, a tennis white badge umpire from Bolivia. Flores will be excluded from the sport for 12 years over violations of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP).
The tennis authority learned that Flores had breached the TACP a whopping 31 times between November 2021 and October 2022. During ITF World Tennis Tour events, the umpire manipulated outcomes for betting purposes by purposely entering the wrong score into the umpire’s handheld device. In addition, he solicited another tennis official to engage in corrupt conduct, the ITIA remarked.
As a result, the umpire got handed a 12-year suspension and a fine of $15,000. Flores’ breaches, anti-corruption hearing officer professor Richard McLaren said, warranted a suspension of 15 years. However, various mitigating factors, such as Flores’ good conduct and admission resulted in the suspension getting reduced.
The suspension was backdated to the start of the umpire’s provisional suspension on December 8, last year. The penalty is thus set to expire on December 7, 2034. During that time, Flores will be prohibited from officiating at or attending any event that is authorized or sanctioned by the official tennis governing bodies.
Flores’ penalty follows the sanctioning of Mark Philippoussis who breached the rules on betting sponsorships in Tennis. Earlier, the organization issued lifetime bans to Nastja Kolar and Alexandra Riley who breached the TACP on multiple occasions.
A Breakdown of Flores’ Violations
As mentioned, Flores committed a total of 31 breaches. Notably, as a covered person, he committed 10 counts of directly or indirectly facilitating or encouraging tennis betting.
In addition, the ITIA reported that Flores committed 8 counts of purposefully delaying or manipulating scoring data for profit.
The umpire also committed 10 counts of being requested to influence or attempt to influence an event. Furthermore, Flores was found guilty of one count of not reporting suspicious activity by a covered person.
Finally, the umpire, as a covered person, was found guilty of incentivizing another person to commit, attempt or conspire to commit an offense.
To protect tennis from fraud, the ITIA just teamed up with the International Tennis Federation to launch mandatory integrity education for players with an active Juniors International Player Identification Number.