Tennis is once again under the scanner as two umpires are banned for gambling. The corruption scandal in the sport has further elevated due to this issue, especially after it has been found that they have been conspiring with betting syndicates.
Although tennis has made many attempts in proving itself as "one of the cleanest sports out there," these words of one administrator took a heavy blow when news reports of umpires involved on professional tours have been colluding with gambling syndicates.
Authorities have revealed that two international umpires, who, on charges of corruption last year, have been banned from their role in the professional sport. Additionally, four others are currently suspended pending the completion of an investigation.
According to the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) and the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the two umpires who received a ban are Kirill Parfenov and Denis Pitner.
Parfenov, an umpire from Kazakhstan, got decertified for life on charges of "contacting another official on Facebook in an attempt to manipulate the scoring matches." Pitner, a Croation umpire, on the other hand, receive a 12-month ban on charges of "regularly logging on to a betting account from which bets were placed on tennis matches."
According to British Newspaper, The Guardian, the Parfenov and Pitner cases were intended to be kept on low radar until the other four officials who also face corruption charges gets completed.
"Four officials are currently suspended pending the completion of ongoing investigations by the TIU," the ITF and TIU statement said. "In order to ensure no prejudice of any future hearing we cannot publicly disclose the nature or detail of those investigations.
"Should any official be found guilty of an offense, it will be announced publicly."
Part of the corruption claims involved umpires deliberately delaying score updates for 60 seconds, giving gamblers enough time to place winning bets since they know what will be happening next. The allegations pinpoint that umpires have texted gamblers prior to updating scores, thus giving them an upper hand before betting markets reacted to changing scores.