Tennis Star Banned Over Match Betting
The French tennis player Constant Lestienne has received a seven-month ban from playing the sport for gambling on matches, according to reports coming out this morning. Alongside the ban - half of which is suspended, provided he no longer commits "further offences" - Lestienne received a $10,000 fine from the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
During the hearing in Paris, Lestienne admitted to betting on the outcomes of 220 professional tennis matches online between February 2012 and June 2015. The ITF heard and accepted that none of the matches that Lestienne bet on included himself at all.
Lestienne's case was brought before the ITF by the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU), which was formed in 2008 to tackle the problem of corruption, match fixing, and betting within in the sport. Lestienne was told that his fine will be halved, alongside his ban, if he cooperates with the TIU and assists them in working with players to keep possible corruption out of the sport.
Constant Lestienne, 24, is currently ranked at 164th in the world and has over $40,000 in prize money since he turned pro. He has qualified for two Grand Slam tournaments so far, the French Open in 2015 and Wimbledon in 2016. In both tournaments he was knocked out in the first round.