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ATP suspends 2 Italian players for gambling, Italian federation says

ATP suspends 2 Italian players for gambling, Italian federation says

The ATP has suspended Italy's top player Potito Starace and Daniele Bracciali for betting on tennis matches.
The 31st-ranked Starace was suspended for six weeks and ordered to pay a US$30,000 (euro20,800) fine, the Italian tennis federation said in a statement Saturday. Bracciali, ranked 258th, was banned for three months and fined US$20,000 (euro14,000). Both suspensions are effective Jan. 1, ruling them out of the Australian Open, which begins Jan. 14.
The Italian federation said Starace made five bets for a total of some euro90 (US$130) two years ago, while Bracciali made some 50 bets of euro5 (US$7) each between 2004-05.
It denounced the penalties as disproportionate, saying the players never bet on their own matches.
"Injustice is done," the statement said. "These penalties are absolutely, excessively severe compared to the magnitude of the violations carried out by the two players."
The federation said the two were not aware of the ATP's betting regulations, and that they stopped placing the bets as soon as they learned it was against the rules.
The players lamented they were being made scapegoats as the ATP grapples with a match-fixing scandal surrounding the sport.
Another Italian player, Alessio Di Mauro, became the first player sanctioned under the ATP's new anti-corruption rules when he received a nine-month ban in November, also for betting on matches.
Concerns about match-fixing have risen since August, when an online betting company reported unusual betting patterns during a match between fourth-ranked Nikolay Davydenko of Russia and Martin Vassallo Arguello, an Argentine player. The company, Betfair, voided all bets and the ATP has been investigating.
Davydenko, who retired while trailing in the third set, denies wrongdoing.
Since then, several players have said that they had been approached with offers to fix matches in exchange for money.


Updated : 2021-05-19 08:41 GMT+08:00