Match Official Served 6-Year Ban For Tennis Betting Scheme

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The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) banned chair umpire Morales Churata for six years for multiple tennis betting infractions.

The Bolivian native admitted to purposefully manipulating scores for tennis betting purposes.

According to a release issued on Thursday, the ITIA discovered Churata incorrectly entered scores into the handheld device at ITF World Tennis Tour events in 2021 and 2022. He was also fined $10,000.

Tennis betting infractions by ref

Churata committed 19 violations of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP). Churata manipulated scoring data once in 2021 and five times in 2022. The release did not specify the events where the infractions happened, but said that the official “was found to have manipulated scores for betting purposes.”

The suspension is backdated to December 2022 and will last until December 2028. Churata cannot officiate or attend any tennis event by the sport’s official governing bodies.

The ITIA is a relatively new organization in the ongoing battle against corruption in tennis matches. The allegations come from 2021, soon after the formation of the ITIA, and contribute to a long pattern of instability in the lower levels of tennis circuits.

Recent claims of match-fixing

Max Alves, a professional soccer player for the Colorado Rapids, was suspended earlier this month after Brazilian officials charged 16 people in an alleged match-fixing scheme. According to an ESPN report, the Brazilian-born Alves received $12,000 to receive a yellow card in a match last September.

Integrity questions were also swirling around the UFC near the end of 2022. The Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended two fighters and one coach. Sportsbooks reported suspicious activity around a Nov. 5 fight featuring fighter Darrick Minner and his coach James Krause.

UFC fighter Jeff Molina, a trainee of Krause’s, withdrew from a January fight after the UFC announced any fighter working with Krause would be suspended.