Colombia’s Barlaham Zuluaga Gaviria suspended and fined for failing to co-operate with TIU corruption investigation
22-year old Colombian tennis player Barlaham Zuluaga Gaviria has been suspended for three years and fined $5,000 after being found guilty of failing to co-operate with a Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) investigation.
Independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer (AHO) Prof Richard H. McLaren considered the case at a disciplinary Hearing held in London on 23 April 2018. His decision and applicable sanctions were provided today, 2 May 2018.
Mr Zuluaga Gaviria was charged under Section F.2.b of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP) which requires all Covered Persons to co-operate with TIU investigations into potential breaches of integrity:
“All Covered Persons must co-operate fully with investigations conducted by the TIU including giving evidence at hearings, if requested. No Covered Person shall tamper with or destroy any evidence or other information related to any Corruption Offense.”
In failing to co-operate with the TIU investigation the player excused himself from an interview on the grounds of illness and did not provide his mobile phone for forensic download. Despite repeated requests, he subsequently failed to reschedule the interview and eventually supplied an alternative phone that did not contain the data originally requested.
On 29 July 2017 Mr Zuluaga Gaviria was provisionally suspended from playing by AHO McLaren. That ruling was then reconfirmed on 21 September 2017 as a result of the player’s continuing failure to comply.
The three year suspension applies with immediate effect and means that he is not allowed to compete in, or attend, any tournament or event organised or sanctioned by the governing bodies of the sport.
Mr Zuluaga Gaviria achieved a career-high singles ranking of 1,491 in September 2013 and is currently ranked 1,957.
The Tennis Integrity Unit is an initiative of the Grand Slam Board, the International Tennis Federation, the ATP and the WTA, who are jointly committed to a zero tolerance approach to corruption in tennis.