The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has handed a life ban to French tennis player Alexis Musialek after he was found guilty of match fixing offences.
Musialek, who reached a career-high ATP singles ranking of 255 in 2015, had initially denied all charges. However, an investigation uncovered his involvement in fixing nine tennis matches between 2016 and 2018.
Among the offences were contriving the outcome of matches and receiving money, benefit or consideration to carry this out. The 35-year-old also facilitated other players not to use their best efforts and failed to co-operate with an ITIA investigation by withholding evidence.
In total, Musialek was ruled to have breached the Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme (TACP) on 39 occasions.
The ruling means Musialek is prohibited from playing in, coaching at, or attending any tennis event authorised or sanctioned by the governing bodies of tennis. Musialek has also been fined $50,000 (£39,293/€46,008).
Musialek ban linked to Belgian case
The ITIA said the case related to an ongoing joint effort with law enforcement in Belgium to tackle fixing.
This has uncovered several incidents of match-fixing across tennis, with a number of players having been implicated. Grigor Sargsyan, the leader of the scheme, has also been jailed for five years.
In Musialek’s case, the ITIA said evidence from Belgian proceedings supported intelligence gathered through ITIA investigations and industry betting alerts.
ITIA continues to tackle match fixing in tennis
The joint effort with Belgian authorities forms part of the ITIA’s wider efforts to clamp down on match fixing.
Earlier this month, the ITIA provisionally suspended Timur Khabibulin, Sanjar Fayziev and Igor Smilansky for match fixing. All players were ruled to have breached the TACP on a number of occasions.
In June, the ITIA also handed lifetime bans to Nastja Kolar and Alexandra Riley for multiple breaches of its TACP. The offences, all of which were related to match fixing, took place between 2015 and 2020.
The ITIA said efforts to address match fixing in tennis will continue.