Umpires banned in anti-corruption investigation

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has confirmed that two tennis umpires have been banned and four more suspended as an anti-corruption investigation continues into alleged match-fixing by the Tennis Integrity Unit (ITU).

The four suspended umpires are being investigated for allegedly taking bribes to manipulate scores on the Futures Tour.

On Tuesday, the ITF released a statement confirming that Denis Pitner from Croatia and Kazakhstan’s Kirill Parfenov were banned in 2015.

The two were first named by The Guardian in a report where they knocked the ITF for not make the bans public knowledge.

The statement released by the ITF: 

“The ITF has sanctioned two officials under the ITF Code of Conduct for Officials. Previously the ITF Code of Conduct for Officials did not allow public dissemination of officials sanctioned. However, the ITF amended the Code in December 2015 to ensure public reporting of officiating sanctions from 2016 onwards.

“Kirill Parfenov of Kazakhstan was decertified for life in February 2015 for contacting another official on Facebook in an attempt to manipulate the scoring of matches.

“Separately, Denis Pitner of Croatia had his certification suspended on 1 August 2015 for 12 months for sending information on the physical well-being of a player to a coach during a tournament and regularly logging on to a betting account from which bets were placed on tennis matches.

“The decision to sanction both officials under the ITF Code of Conduct was taken following Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) investigations. This approach is being reviewed as part of the recently announced Independent Review of Integrity in Tennis that will be chaired by Adam Lewis QC.

“To ensure accuracy of reporting, four officials are currently suspended pending the completion of ongoing investigations by the TIU. In order to ensure no prejudice of any future hearing, we cannot publicly disclose the nature or detail of those investigations. Should any official be found guilty of an offence, it will be announced publicly.”

In 2014, French official Morgan Lamri was handed a life ban after an investigation by the Tennis Integrity Unit.