Russian WTA players handed lifetime bans for match fixing

Russian players Sofia Dmitrieva and Alija Merdeeva banned for life for involvement in match fixing

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Russian players Sofia Dmitrieva (in pic, right) and Alija Merdeeva were banned for life from tennis for match fixing

The International Tennis Integrity Agency has confirmed that two Russian tennis players, Sofia Dmitrieva and Alija Merdeeva have been banned for life from the sport, following investigations into multiple incidents of match fixing.

Two of the matches concerned involved both the players as doubles partners.

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The cases were ruled on by Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer Charles Hollander QC and the sanctions mean both players are permanently prohibited from playing in or attending any tennis event authorised or sanctioned by the governing bodies of tennis.

Merdeeva, who had a highest singles ranking of 928 and a highest doubles ranking of 644, was involved in two incidents of match fixing.

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Dmitrieva, who had a highest WTA singles ranking of 1191 and a highest doubles ranking of 939, was involved in a total of six incidents of match fixing. In addition, she was charged with a failure to co-operate with the investigation.

The breach of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme that both players have been found guilty of are:

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Section D.1.d of the 2018 TACP:

“No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any Event.”

In addition, Ms Dmitrieva was charged with section F.2.b/D.2.c of the 2019 TACP:

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“All Covered Persons must cooperate fully with investigations conducted by the TIU including giving evidence at hearings, if requested. After a Covered Person receives a TIU request for an initial interview or otherwise becomes aware of any TIU investigation involving the Covered Person, the Covered Person shall

(i) preserve and not tamper with, damage, disable, destroy or otherwise alter any evidence (including any personal devices described in Section F.2.c.i.) or other information related to any Corruption Offense and

(ii) not solicit, facilitate or advise any other person to fail to preserve, tamper with, damage, disable, destroy or otherwise alter any evidence or other information related to any Corruption Offense.”

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The International Tennis Integrity Agency is an independent body established by the International Governing Bodies of Tennis to promote, encourage, enhance and safeguard the integrity of professional tennis worldwide.

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