Venezuelan official suspended for failing to report corrupt approaches

(Reuters) - Venezuelan tennis official Armando Alfonso Belardi Gonzalez has been suspended for two years and six months and fined $5,000 after failing to report corrupt approaches, the Tennis Integrity Unit said on Friday.

The TIU said Gonzalez had received two approaches in 2018 which attempted to involve him in a scheme to enter incorrect scores into his personal digital assistant (PDA), which would have helped gamblers profit by making certain bets.

Gonzalez, a Bronze Badge chair umpire, did not comply but was sanctioned because he did not disclose the approach to the TIU as required by the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP).

“As a result of the sanction imposed, and with effect from 18 June 2020, he is prohibited from officiating in or attending any tennis event authorized or sanctioned by the governing bodies of tennis for the duration of the ban,” the TIU said in a statement.

The TIU said the 40-year-old did not fully co-operate with their investigation into the allegations.

$4,000 of the fine will be suspended as long as Gonzalez commits no further breaches of the TACP, the anti-corruption body added.

Last year, Russian tennis official Svetlana Teryaeva was handed a six-month suspension and a $1,000 fine for a similar offence.

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis