January 14, 2017 / 1:00 AM / 7 months ago

Australian Puttergill banned for betting on matches

LONDON (Reuters) - Australian tennis player Calum Puttergill has been suspended for six months and fined $10,000 for placing bets on matches, the Tennis Integrity Unit has said.

Puttergill, ranked 891 in doubles and 1,207 in singles, used two accounts to place 291 bets on matches between May 2012 and November 2014. None involved matches he was playing, the TIU said.

The final three months of the ban and $5,000 of the fine have been suspended on the condition the 23-year-old does not commit any further offences prior to July 11, 2017.

The TIU released its 2016 annual report earlier this week, showing an increase in the number of investigations and prosecutions.

The sport was embarrassed by a report released on the opening day of last year's Australian Open which alleged the unit had failed to deal with widespread match-fixing.

Tennis authorities at the time rejected media reports that 16 current or former top 50 players had been repeatedly flagged to the TIU over suspicions they had thrown matches in the past decade, and promised to provide the watchdog with more resources.

This year's Australian Open, the season's opening grand slam, begins at Melbourne Park on Monday.

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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