Banned umpire who worked at U.S. Open suspended for 10 years

Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:33pm EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - A Croatian umpire who officiated at the U.S. Open while serving a 12-month suspension has been banned for 10 years, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) said on Tuesday.

Denis Pitner was suspended by the ITF last August, but went on to work as a linesman at the U.S. Open in September, due to what The United States Tennis Association (USTA) said was a "flaw" in their system.

The ITF said in a statement that Pitner had now been banned until 2026 after being found guilty of offences, including his failure to notify the USTA that his certification had been suspended prior to the U.S. Open.

He was also found guilty of misrepresentation in officiating at the 2016 Qatar Open and in an application to officiate at Wimbledon.

Pitner was originally suspended after sending information about a player to a coach during a tournament and regularly logging on to a betting account from which bets were placed on tennis matches.

The USTA said in February that Pitner had already picked up his accreditation to work at the U.S. Open before they were notified of his ban.

They said they would be investigating why his credentials to work at the tournament were not later canceled.

Tennis launched an independent review panel (IRP) last January after widespread allegations of corruption in the sport. It will take at least a year to complete its investigations.

(Reporting by Toby Davis; editing by Alan Baldwin)