The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) confirmed that three tennis players – Timur Khabibulin, Sanjar Fayziev and Igor Smilansky – have been provisionally suspended pending consideration on sanction following multiple breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme (TACP).
The decision was made by independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer (AHO) Janie Soublière, who upheld the ITIA charges against the three players for related match-fixing activity.
Khabibulin reached a career-high ATP singles ranking of 753 in 2016, Fayziev reached a career peak of 253 in 2017, and Smilansky 451 in 2018.
AHO Soublière determined that Khabibulin, from Kazakhstan, had committed 18 breaches of the TACP between 2014 and 2018. Fayziev, from Uzbekistan, and Smilansky, from Israel, were found to have, following an approach from Khabibulin, committed five and three breaches of the TACP respectively.
The players were collectively found to have contrived aspects of matches, facilitated wagering, failed to report corrupt approaches, and, in Khabibulin’s case, offered money to negatively influence players’ best efforts. The decision on sanctions for the three players will follow in due course.
In the meantime, as of 25 July 2023, all three players are provisionally suspended and, therefore, prohibited from competing in or attending any sanctioned tennis events organised or recognised by the governing bodies of the sport.
The provisional suspension was imposed under section G.4.a of the TACP 2023:
“In the event that the Covered Person is found liable of one or more of the charges against them and sanction is not determined at the same time as the decision on liability, the AHO, either of the AHO’s own volition or on an application by the ITIA, must impose a Provisional Suspension pending the final decision on sanction.”
The ITIA is an independent body established by the International Governing Bodies of Tennis to promote, encourage, enhance and safeguard the integrity of professional tennis worldwide.