The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA), a body that protects the integrity of the sport, has confirmed that it has banned two players for life. The penalized athletes are the Slovenian player Nastja Kolar and the American Alexandra Riley, both of which breached the rules outlined in the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP).
The two players, the ITIA said, violated the anti-corruption policies on multiple occasions. As a result, they will also have to pay significant fines.
Ian Mill KC, an independent anti-corruption hearing officer (AHO), said that between 2015 and 2022, Kolar and Riley committed 25 and 15 offenses respectively. As a result, the two were handed provisional suspensions in March.
However, because of the seriousness of the two athletes’ violations, the ITIA decided to suspend them for life. For reference, the two players’ breaches included contriving aspects of matches, wagering, facilitating wagering, courtsiding, conspiracy, and failing to report corrupt approaches.
The ITIA noted that Kolar will have to pay $175,000, which is close to the maximum penalty of $250,000. Riley, meanwhile, will only have to pay $50,000.
AHO Mill noted that the fines reflect the severity of the two players’ corruption offenses. He noted that neither of the two demonstrated any remorse for their actions.
The Two Players Conspired Together
Kolar is a Slovenian player whose career WTA rankings peaked inside the top 200 for singles and doubles. Unfortunately, it turned out that the athlete had contrived aspects of six matches in which she participated. In addition, she conspired with Riley to contrive aspects of four of their games.
Sadly, Kolar’s violations don’t end there as she was also found guilty of wagering on tennis, facilitating wagering through courtsiding and failing to report Riley’s corrupt offenses.
Riley’s WTA singles ranking, on the other hand, reached its highest point of 691 in 2015. She was found guilty of contriving aspects of five matches she participated in. Like Kolar, Riley wagered on matches in which she competed, facilitated wagering by courtsiding, failed to preserve evidence and failed to report Kolar’s offenses.
The ITIA concluded that the sanction is effective from March 14, 2023 – the same date the two offenders were initially suspended. More information is available on the ITIA’s official website.
In other news, the watchdog just banned Petru-Alexandru Luncanu over wagering breaches. Prior to that, the body fined and banned an umpire who fixed games.