Algerian tennis player Aymen Ikhlef has been banned for life from the sport after an investigation by the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) uncovered multiple breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme (TACP) rules by the player. The player has also been fined $100,000.
The disciplinary case was heard by Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer Richard McLaren. He found that Mr Ikhlef made 10 breaches of the TACP. The subsequent sanction means that from 11th December 2020, the player is permanently prohibited from playing in or attending any tennis event authorised or sanctioned by the governing bodies of tennis.
Mr Ikhlef who had a highest ATP singles ranking of 1739, was found guilty of four instances of match fixing, two instances of soliciting other players not to use their best efforts, three instances of failure to report a corrupt approach and one charge of failing to co-operate with the TIU investigation.
The breaches of the Tennis Anti-corruption Programme (TACP) that Mr Ikhlef has been found guilty of are:
D.1.d of the 2016 TACP: “No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any Event”.
D.1.e of the 2016 TACP: “No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, solicit or facilitate any Player to not use his or her best efforts in any Event”.
D.2.a.i of the 2016 TACP: “In the event any Player is approached by any person who offers or provides any type of money, benefit or Consideration to a Player (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.”
Section F.2.b / D.2.c of the 2017 TACP: “All Covered Persons must co-operate fully with investigations conducted by the TIU including giving evidence at hearings, if requested. After a Covered Person received a TIU request for an initial interview or otherwise becomes aware of any TIU investigation involving the Covered Person, the Covered Person shall (i) preserve and not tamper with, damage, disable, destroy or otherwise alter any evidence (including any personal devices described in Section F.2.c.i.) or any other information related to any Corruption Offense and (ii) not solicit, facilitate or advise any other person to fail to preserve, tamper with, damage, disable, destroy or otherwise alter any evidence or other information related to any Corruption Offense.”
The Tennis Integrity Unit is an initiative of the Grand Slam Board, the International Tennis Federation, the ATP and the WTA and established to promote, encourage, enhance and safeguard the integrity of professional tennis worldwide. From 1 January 2021, the TIU will become a new, independent body - the International Tennis Integrity Agency.