25-year old unranked Spaniard is the first player to be sanctioned for courtsiding
Unranked Spanish tennis player Gerard Joseph Platero Rodriguez has been suspended for four years and fined $15,000 after being convicted of courtsiding, betting and non-co-operation offences. Six months of the ban are suspended on condition that no further breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP) are committed.
A Tennis Integrity Unit investigation established that Mr Rodriguez had acted as a courtsider at an ITF M15 tournament held in Pittsburgh, USA in July 2019. Courtsiding is a prohibited practice which involves transmission of live scoring data from a match to a third party for betting purposes. He is the first tennis player to be charged with and convicted of the practice.
In addition, he was found to have placed 75 online bets on tennis matches during June 2019, in breach of the explicit prohibition on any form of betting on tennis.
During the course of the investigation and subsequent disciplinary process, Mr Rodriguez failed to engage or provide any form of co-operation, as required by the TACP.
The disciplinary case was adjudicated by independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer Ian Mill QC. His findings of guilt and subsequent sanction means that with effect from today, 30 September 2020, the player is prohibited from playing in or attending any tennis event authorised or sanctioned by the governing bodies of tennis for a period of three years and six months.
The breaches of the TACP Mr Rodriguez has been found guilty of are as follows:
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.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 F.2.b. – All Covered Persons must cooperate 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.