The independent body established to safeguard, promote, encourage and enhance the integrity of professional tennis around the world, the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA), announced it imposed a new sanction against a professional Australian tennis coach. Details regarding the new sanction emerged Wednesday and come after the Agency uncovered that Mark Philippoussis breached the rules related to tennis betting sponsorships.
Upon announcing the sanction, the ITIA said that the current Australian professional tennis coach and former top 10 ATP singles player, breached Section D.1.b of the 2022 Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP) rules. That rule prohibits covered persons, such as players, coaches or other individuals involved in professional tennis, from engaging, facilitating or encouraging the promotion of tennis betting.
According to the integrity watchdog, Philippoussis breached the rules for sponsorship after participating in a voiceover for a promotion content for a gambling operator. The professional tennis coach, ITIA said, collaborated with the agency and did not contest his charge. Due to the aforementioned breach, ITIA issued a $10,000 fine against Philippoussis.
At the same time, the Agency said that it issued a “suspended ban of four months.” With that in mind, the ITIA explained that the suspension won’t “come into force unless there is a further breach of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP) during a four-month period, which started on July 21, 2023.”
The Agency Remains Vigilant
The latest sanction comes after last month, the ITIA issued penalties against Slovenian player Nastja Kolar and the American Alexandra Riley. At the time, the integrity watchdog said that the duo breached the TACP rules related to anti-corruption on multiple occasions. In light of the breaches, a $175,000 fine was issued against Kolar, while Riley received a $50,000 fine. However, given how serious the breaches of the rules were, the two players were also banned from the sport for life.
Karen Moorhouse, ITIA’s CEO, explained that the current rules for professional tennis do not allow “accredited individuals” to engage in commercial relations with gambling companies. She said that this rule is in effect because such individuals could impact matches or gain access to insider information.
“Our message to players and others covered by the TACP is that you can always talk to us if you are unsure of any rules, or are seeking clarity on any potential commercial arrangement.“
Karen Moorhouse, CEO at ITIA
Moorhouse added: “Whilst this case is clearly not one of corruption, it is a rule that players, coaches, and others in the sport need to be aware of.” She encouraged players, coaches or other people involved in professional tennis to ask if they are unsure of the rules.
Moorhouse noted that ITIA is focused on preventing breaches of the rules rather than imposing sanctions after breaches occur. Finally, she said that the Agency can be contacted by covered persons via a variety of channels, including its official website, app, as well as social media accounts.