Spanish Tennis Pro Suspended For Courtsiding
October 02, 2020
Spanish tennis player Gerard Joseph Platero Rodriguez has been suspended from playing tennis for a period of four years – of which period six months have been suspended. In addition to the suspension, Rodriguez will also have to pay a fine of $15,000 for his involvement in courtsiding and betting and “non-co-operation offenses”. The Spaniard received word of his punishment following the conclusion of an investigation conducted by the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU).
Courtsiding, Betting, Forbidden
The term “courtsiding” is defined as the act of illicitly collecting live scoring data and providing such data to an outside party (or third party) for betting and gambling purposes.
According to the outcome of the investigation, Rodriguez made himself guilty of the offence during June and July last year whilst at an International Tennis Federation M15 competition played in Pittsburgh in the USA. Aside from the actual act of courtsiding, Rodriguez himself placed at least 75 online bets on tennis matches during June 2019, the unit has found. Betting on any game or match while playing professionally is strictly forbidden by the TIU.
As far as the prohibitions instituted by the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program are concerned, both the direct as well as the indirect placing of any form of bet is forbidden. Players may not engage in or be involved with any sort of wagering, including the writing of articles or commentaries for gambling and/or sports betting websites, putting in any form of personal or other appearance for a sports betting company or operator offering tennis as a betting product, and engaging in the promotion of tennis betting or tennis betting bookmakers via social media or any other media channels.
Failure To Co-Operate
According to the details of the unit’s decision and ruling, Rodriguez not only engaged actively in courtsiding and online betting on tennis, but also failed to provide his co-operation to the TIU throughout the course of its investigations into his betting and courtsiding activities. According to the rules of the unit, any player under investigation by the unit, or facing any form of disciplinary action by the unit, must at all times, when requested to do so, cooperate in “full” with all processes related to the investigation – including the giving of evidence at hearings when ordered by subpoena to do so.
The disciplinary case was reportedly overseen by Ian Mill QC. Mill is an independent Anti-Corruption Hearing officer employed by the TIU and is confirmed to have found the Spaniard guilty on all charges raised against him by the unit.
Part-Suspended On Condition
As for the actual ban, the official period commenced on September 30 and will from that date onwards, will remain in force for a total of three years and six months. Though officially banned from any form of engagement with the sport on a professional level for a time equal to four years in total, the unit ruled six months of that time conditionally suspended. The suspension will only remain in force for as long as the Spaniard steers clear of committing any further breaches in terms of the rules and regulations of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program.
Not only may Rodriguez not play in any tennis event authorised or endorsed by any of the sport’s professional bodies, but he may also not physically attend any such matches.
Fully committed to a zero-tolerance policy in terms of betting and/or gambling corruption in professional tennis, the TIU is a joint initiative of the ATP, ITF, WTA, and official tennis Grand Slam Board.