Corruption Grips Tennis World as Umpire Slapped With 12-Year Ban and $15000 Fine for Breach of Rules

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In the last few months, tennis has seen a handful of players sidelined owing to suspensions, mainly down to doping. The suspensions imposed on the likes of Simona Halep, Jenson Brooksby, and Mikael Ymer have prevented them from competing at the professional level. The above-mentioned names now have a company in the form of a notorious tennis umpire.

The ITIA (International Tennis Integrity Agency) has handed Percy Flores, the Bolivian umpire, a 12-year suspension. After months of investigations, they convicted her of altering scores for betting reasons. The report details intentional inputting of incorrect results and asking another official to engage in corrupt behavior. As a result, the ITIA came up with a hefty punishment for the umpire.

ITIA launched a statement for Bolivian umpire Percy Flores

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The Bolivian umpire committed 31 conduct breaches in a span of less than 12 months between November 2021 and October 2022. She was a white badge umpire, meaning that she did not officiate in the tour-level matches. However, the white badge umpires have a sufficient amount of experience and regularly officiate in Challenger-level matches. The news shocked and disappointed the tennis fraternity greatly.

The ITIA statement read, “The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) today confirms that Bolivian tennis official Percy Flores has been suspended from the sport for 12 years and issued a $15,000 fine for multiple breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP).”

The revelation also showed that Flores was initially convicted for 15 years. However, Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer, Professor Richard McLaren reduced the sentence to 12 years. Three years were taken off her ban of 15 years because she had shown generally good conduct during the investigation, according to McLaren.

A three-year sentence reduction might be some sort of respite for Flores. However, she will not be seen anywhere near the official tennis courts for more than a decade now.

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Percy Flores’s suspension dates

Flores faced a provisional suspension starting from 8th December 2022, around the time when the investigation came under light. Eight months after the investigation, the provisional suspension was converted to a permanent one. Flores has already completed eight months of the 12 years. She will remain suspended till 7th December 2034. In that time period, the Bolivian cannot officiate in or attend any tennis event regulated or granted by the governing authorities of tennis.

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Do you think that the ban period is justified? Share your thoughts below!

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