LONDON (Reuters) - Unranked Thai player Jatuporn Nalamphun has been suspended for 18 months and fined $5,000 after being found guilty of betting on tennis matches and not cooperating with the investigation, the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) said.
“The 22-year-old admitted to three breaches of... the (anti corruption) program, which prohibits betting on tennis matches, between July and November 2014,” the TIU said in a statement on Wednesday.
Jatuporn was suspended for six months and a fined $5,000 for the betting offences but was then handed a concurrent 18-month ban after being “found guilty of a further charge of failing to cooperate with a TIU Investigation”.
“The full and timely cooperation by participants in TIU investigations is of paramount importance in the efforts being made by the TIU to eliminate corruption in professional tennis,” anti-corruption hearing officer Ian Mill said.
Tennis is still reeling from widespread allegations of corruption in the sport and the independent review panel (IRP), which was launched last month, will take at least a year to complete its investigations.
The IRP was established by the sport’s governing bodies following media reports criticizing the TIU for not adequately investigating some 16 players repeatedly flagged up over suspicions they had thrown matches in the past decade.
Match-fixing allegations by the BBC and the online BuzzFeed News broke before last month’s Australian Open.
The allegations were further fueled by former Australian professional Nick Lindahl pleading guilty in January to match-fixing in a minor tournament in 2013.
A top global bookmaker also suspended betting on a suspicious match at the Australian Open.
Reporting by Pritha Sarkar, editing by Ken Ferris