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ATP confirms betting sanctions against Italians


London : The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) has confirmed fines and suspensions for the Italian pair of Potito Starace and Daniele Bracciali after they were found guilty of betting on tennis matches.

With just a weekend to go before the start of the 2008 season, the sanctioning body confirmed the 31st-ranked Starace punishment of a six-week suspension and $30,000 fine. Bracciali is out for three months and was fined $20,000.

“The ATP’s tennis anti-corruption programme, communicated to all players on a regular basis, states clearly and unambiguously that gambling on tennis by players, associates or staff would not be tolerated. This has been the case since the Tour’s inception in 1990,” said ATP vice-president Gayle Bradshaw.

“The ATP will continue to use all available means to ensure that no player or support staff is betting on tennis and will instigate disciplinary proceedings against anyone found to be doing so.

“Not knowing the rules is not an excuse. Everyone connected to the ATP Tour has a duty to understand and respect the rules, especially those designed to protect the integrity of our sport.”

Both players, who say they are being made scapegoats in the new ATP crackdown, wagered online on various matches – none involving themselves – from 2004 to 2006.

They join compatriot Alessio Di Mauro, 130 in the world, who was banned for nine months from last November for a similar offence.

The current ATP match-fix scandal emerged last summer in the wake of a suspicious loss in Poland by number four Nikolay Davydenko, currently being investigated in the matter.