Italian umpire suspended by tennis watchdog over match-fixing charges

A tennis umpire has been suspended over match-fixing charges, the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has confirmed.

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Francesco Totaro, a National Level umpire from Italy, has received a provisional suspension pending the full consideration of alleged match fixing.

According to the ITIA, Totaro’s suspension was granted under section F.3 of the 2022 Tennis Anti-Corruption Program.

This permits the organisation to impose a provisional suspension before either a notice of major offence has been issued or a hearing has been convened.

It may also do so at any time after a hearing but before a written decision from an anti-corruption hearing officer (AHO) is issued.

As a result of his suspension, Totaro is prohibited from officiating at or attending any tennis event authorised by an international governing body or national association “until the full disciplinary process is completed,” said the ITIA.

The organisation added: “The ITIA is an independent body established by the International Governing Bodies of Tennis to promote, encourage, enhance and safeguard the integrity of professional tennis worldwide.”

Totaro’s suspension follows the issuance of multi-year bans to three Tunisian umpires earlier this week. Majd Affi, Mohamed Ghassen Snene and Abderahim Gharsallah were handed lengthy embargos for manipulating scores.

Affi, a green badge chair umpire, was banned for 20 years, while Snene and Gharsallah each received a shorter seven-year ban. Each ban was backdated to the start of their provisional suspension on 6 November 2020.

And in other ITIA news, the organisation established a tennis integrity task force with the Egyptian Tennis Federation last month.

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