38-year old former player and current coach will serve a three year suspension on the basis that no further breaches of tennis anti-corruption rules are committed
Brazil’s Pertti Vesantera has been banned for five years and fined $15,000 after being found guilty of corruption offences including betting on tennis, facilitating betting and non-reporting, which are all breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP).
Two years of the five year ban are suspended on condition that he commits no further breaches of the TACP. The $15,000 fine must be paid by the end of the third year of suspension.
A Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) investigation into allegations of corruption against the 38-year old revealed that he had:
- placed 184 online bets on tennis matches between 3 January 2019 and 6 March 2019
- failed to report knowledge or suspicion of the corrupt activity of a third party
- facilitated the betting of a third party by opening a bank account in his own name and depositing money on behalf of the third party
- failed to co-operate with a TIU investigation into his alleged corrupt activity
A disciplinary case against Mr Vesantera was adjudicated by independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer Prof Richard McLaren, at a disciplinary Hearing held by videoconference on 10 June 2020. Prof McLaren’s findings of guilt and imposition of the sanction means that with effect from 30 June 2020 he is prohibited from playing in or attending any tennis event authorised or sanctioned by the governing bodies of tennis for three years.
In addition to being a former player, Mr Vesantera is a Level 2 tennis coach.
The relevant Sections of the TACP covering the offences are as follows:
Section D.1.a. - No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, wager, conspire to wager or attempt to wager on the outcome or any other aspect of any Event or any other tennis competition.
Section D.1.b. No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, solicit, facilitate, or conspire to 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’s website; writing articles for a tennis betting publication or website; conducting personal appearances for, or otherwise participating in any event run by, a tennis betting company or any other company or entity directly affiliated with a tennis betting company; promoting a tennis betting company to the general public through posts on social media; and appearing in commercial advertisements that encourage others to bet on tennis.
Section D.2.b.ii. - In the event any Related Person or Tournament Support Person knows or suspects that any Covered Person or other individual has committed a Corruption Offense, it shall be the Related Person’s or Tournament Support Person’s obligation to report such knowledge or suspicion to the TIU as soon as possible.
Section F.2.b - All Covered Persons must co-operate fully with investigations conducted by the TIU including giving evidence at hearings, if requested. After a Covered Person receives 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 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 ATP, WTA, ITF and Grand Slam Board, who are jointly committed to a zero tolerance approach to betting-related corruption in professional tennis.