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ITIA bans and fines Bulgarian chair umpire for betting on tennis matches

Bulgarian tennis chair umpire Stefan Milanov has been banned for six months by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) after admitting to placing multiple bets on the sport.

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The umpire, whose betting activities included one match in which he was officiating, breached the sport’s Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP) rules, with the ITIA also fining him $10,000, $5,000 of which was suspended.

Milanov’s official suspension started on 15 November 2022, and will finish on 14 May 2023. During this period, the official is prohibited from officiating at or attending any tennis event authorised or sanctioned by the governing bodies of tennis.

The Bulgarian admitted to two separate offences of Section D.1.a of the 2022 TACP, which states that “No Covered Person shall directly or indirectly, wager on the outcome or any other aspect of any event or any other tennis competition.”

An independent body established by the International Governing Bodies of Tennis, the ITIA aims to ‘promote, encourage, enhance and safeguard the integrity of professional tennis worldwide.’

In September 2022, Chilean tennis coach and ex-player Sebastián Rivera was banned from the sport for life after being found guilty of numerous match-fixing offences.

Rivera was found guilty of 64 offences, the most ever detected for a player by the ITIA or its predecessor, the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU).

And in other recent news regarding breaches of betting rules in sport, Brentford striker Ivan Toney was charged by the Football Association (FA) last month over 232 alleged breaches. The bets took place between February 2017 and January 2021.

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