Six Spanish players banned for up to 22 years for tennis match fixing
Six Spanish tennis players have been given lengthy bans after they were convicted of criminal charges relating to tennis match fixing.
Players Marc Formell Mestres, Jorge Marse-Vidri, Carlos Ortega, Jaime Ortega, Marcos Torralbo and Pedro Bernabe Franco were convicted in Spain as part of an ongoing case involving organised crime as all six players pleaded guilty to the corruption charges.
Each player was fined 450 euros and given two-year suspended prison sentences by the Spanish court with the bans from tennis ranging from seven to 22 years.
Fornell Mestres, who had a career high world ranking of 236 in 2007 and won two ATP Challenger tour titles, received a 22 year ban from the sport as well as a a £213,500 fine (€250,000), with £170,800 (€200,000) suspended.
Jorge Marse Vidri, who reached 562nd in the ATP rankings, has been banned for 15 years and fined £12,800 (€15,000) with £8,500 (€10,000) suspended.
The remaining four players, who were all unranked players, received total fines of £385,000 (€450,000) of which £333,000 (€390,000) was suspended.
They cannot play in or attend any event organised by an international or national association, or coach in the professional game.
Following the criminal proceedings, the International Tennis Integrity Agency said it was “one of the most significant infiltration’s of tennis by organised crime that we have seen”.
With the ITIA chief executive Jonny Gray stating that he hopes the conviction will stop something like this from happening again in the future.
“This ruling sends a strong message that match-fixing is a crime which can see criminal convictions.”.
“We welcome the involvement of law enforcement agencies and the prosecution of entire criminal networks, not just the players involved.”
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