A 22-year-old French tennis player and official has been banned for life by London-based Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) for gambling and match fixing.
Morgan Lamri, an unranked Tour professional, was found guilty of multiple offenses related to gambling.
The TIU said that Lamri had incurred 16 separate violations of Section D.1.a of the 2012 and 2013 Programs, which pertains to betting on any tennis competition.
“The lifetime ban applies with immediate effect and means that Mr. Lamri is not eligible to officiate, participate in or attend any tournament or competition organized or sanctioned by the governing bodies of professional tennis from the date of this statement,” the TIU said. “Consistent with the confidentiality of the Anti-Corruption Hearing process, no further details will be made public.”
Lamri has denied the charges, although he did say that he bets for fun but he didn’t bet on any matches he’s played in or has officiated. “I am completely innocent,” Lamri said. “I don’t understand how they can find me guilty without any material proof.”
The now-banned tennis player and official continued to defend himself in a conversation with Bloomberg, defusing an incident that the TIU apparently found suspicious. Last year, the TIU contacted Lamri after he was spotted talking to players at a Futures event in France. According to Lamri, he was simply talking to his friends who also happened to be players in the circuit and their conversations were never about arranging matches. “I talked to them because they were friends. I placed bets just for my own amusement.”
Meanwhile, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) is taking its own measure to combat match fixing by signing up to the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Integrity Betting Intelligence System (IBIS). The partnership between the BWF and the IOC now allows the former and its 180 member associations to tap into a network of monitoring and data-sharing across a variety of sports and major sports betting bodies. The deal goes into effect from January 2015.
“This is a significant ideal to which we all subscribe – that sport must be played in an environment devoid of illegal betting, match fixing or any other forms of corruption or manipulation – and BWF will continue to do its utmost to uphold this and to spread this philosophy among its global membership,” BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer said in a statement.
The BWF is the latest in a growing list of sports bodies that have signed up to use IBIS. Most of these organizations are tied into summer and winter Olympic sports in preparation for the 2016 summer Olympic games in Brazil.
“The objective is now to integrate all Olympic Summer IFs (international federations) in the run-up to the Olympic Games 2016 in Rio,” IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell said.
In addition to the Olympics, the deal between the BWF and the IOC will also cover all of the sport’s major tournaments.