Two year suspension and fine for Nigeria’s Loveth Donatus after conviction for tennis match-fixing offences
Nigerian tennis player Loveth Donatus has been suspended from the sport for two years and fined $5,000 after being found guilty of match-fixing and associated offences.
One year of the ban and the full amount of the fine are suspended on the proviso that she commits no further breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program.
Ms Donatus, an unranked 26-year old, was found to have accepted a financial inducement from a third party to lose a match at the ITF Women’s Circuit $10,000 tournament played in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt in August 2016.
A Tennis Integrity Unit investigation established that in addition to the match-fixing offence she also failed to report a corrupt approach and further attempted to persuade a fellow player to deliberately under-perform, in return for payment.
The case against Ms Donatus was adjudicated by independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer Prof Richard H McLaren. His finding of guilt and imposition of the suspension means that with immediate effect she is prohibited from playing in or attending any sanctioned events organised or recognised by the governing bodies of the sport, for the next 12 months.
The breaches of the 2016 Tennis Anti-Corruption Program committed by Ms Donatus are as follows:
Section D.1.d: No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any Event.
Section D.1.e: No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, solicit or facilitate any Player to not use his or her best efforts in any Event.
Section D.1.g: No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, offer or provide any money, benefit or Consideration to any other Covered Person with the intention of negatively influencing a Player's best efforts in any Event.
Section 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.
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.