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The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has issued a six-year ban to Bolivian chair umpire Heriberto Morales Churata over a series of corruption charges.
Morales Churata, a green badge official, was found to have manipulated scores for betting purposes. He incorrectly entered scores into a handheld device at ITF World Tennis Tour events in 2021 and 2022.
The suspension was backdated to the start of a provisional suspension on 8 December 2022 and will end on 7 December 2028. Morales Churata will be prohibited from officiating at or attending any tennis event authorised or sanctioned by the governing bodies of tennis.
In addition, the ITIA ordered Morales Churata to pay a fine of $10,000 (£8,098/€9,315).
The ITIA noted multiple breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP).
These included five breaches of Section D.1.b of the 2021 TACP, whereby no covered person shall facilitate any other person to bet on the outcome or any other aspect of an event.
Morales Churata was also found guilty of five breaches of Section D.1.m of the 2021 TACP. This relates to individuals purposely delaying or manipulating entry of scoring data from an event.
The ITIA also flagged five breaches of Section D.2.b.i of the 2021 TACP. This requires covered persons to report any approaches of corruption to the relevant authorities as soon as possible.
In addition, the ITIA referenced Section D.2.b.ii of the 2021 and 2022 TACP. This also covers a responsibility to report incidences or suspicions of corruption to the ITIA at the earliest opportunity.
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