ITIA Ban French Tennis Player Baptiste Crepatte for Match-Fixing

The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has banned Baptiste Crepate from competition for three years after finding him guilty of match-fixing. The former world no 276 has also been handed a $15,000 fine for his encroachments against the game.

Three matches involving the 28-year-old were under scrutiny. According to ITIA, Crepate had multiple breaches of their Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP) rules and has been handed severe sentencing as a result.

“This case is the latest in a series of investigations pursued by the ITIA in conjunction with law enforcement investigations in Belgium, which has seen a number of tennis players implicated in match-fixing incidents,” an ITIA spokesperson shared.

AHO dismisses Crepate’s appeal

The Frenchman contested these charges at the Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer (AHO) but the presiding Professor Richard McLaren stood by ITIA’s decision.

McLaren found Crepate had breached the rules on seven instances across three matches: “including contriving the outcome or any other aspect of two Events, directly or indirectly facilitating Tennis Betting, and failing to report corrupt approaches to the ITIA”.

Crepate’s ban is all-encompassing and will run until April 19, 2026. He will stay away from all tennis affairs, including coaching or even attending an ITIA-authorised event.

Major TACP breaches by Crepate

Crepate is the tip of the iceberg in playing irregularities in tennis. Europol has identified links between match-fixing syndicates in Spain and Belgium. The Frenchman was found guilty of breaching the following TACP rules:

  • D.1.b. No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, solicit or facilitate any other person to wager on the outcome or any other aspect of any Event or any other tennis competition. For the avoidance of doubt, to solicit or facilitate to wager shall include, but not be limited to: display of live tennis betting odds on a Covered Person website; writing articles for a tennis betting publication or website; conducting personal appearances for a tennis betting company or any other company or entity directly affiliated with a tennis betting company; and appearing in commercials encouraging others to bet on tennis.
  • D.1.d. No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any Event.
  • D.2.a.i. In the event any Player is approached by any person who offers or provides any type of money, benefit or Consideration to a Player to (i) influence the outcome or any other aspect of any Event, or (ii) provide Inside Information, it shall be the Player’s obligation to report such incident to the TIU as soon as possible.

Crackdown on match-fixing in tennis

Match-fixing has been part of tennis circles for quite some time now. From reports of a top-10 player throwing matches and bringing disrepute to the game in 2003. Arnaud Clement admitted to being offered bribes, while Russian tennis player Nikolay Davydenko was accused of fixing a match against MartĂ­n Vassallo ArgĂĽello in Poland in 2007.

The ITIA and associated bodies have been extra diligent in eradicating match-fixing from the sport. In June 2018, Argentinian tennis player Nicolás Kicker received a similar treatment as Crepate and was handed a three-year ban from tennis.

A more severe judgement was passed on Egyptian, Karim Hossam, who was banned for life in July 2018. Twelve months later, Hossam’s compatriot, Issam Haitham Taweel received a five-year ban for match-fixing. A month later in September 2019, Brazilian Diego Matos also received a lifetime ban. In May 2020, the brother of Karim Hossam, Youssef Hossam was banned for life.

The only female player found guilty of throwing matches is Russian Yana Sizikova. She was arrested at the 2021 French Open after her first-round loss in the doubles event. The charges brought forward against her from the investigations of her actions in the 2020’s Roland Garros event.

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