In what they called a quest to have an integrated organization, the Tennis Integrity Oversight Board (made up of independent directors and representatives of the sport’s governing bodies) approved that the International Integrity Agency of Tennis (ITIA, according to its acronym in English; body that fights against corruption) take responsibility for the anti-doping program of the sport of rackets from next Saturday (January 1, 2022). Previously, the Anti-Doping Program was supervised by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
The measure, according to the official statement, will bring “integrity issues in sport related to doping and corruption under the auspices of the ITIA, which is an independent body funded by the governing bodies of tennis.” Jennie Price, Chairperson of the Tennis Integrity Oversight Board, said: “Intelligence and shared resources will make us more efficient and, more importantly, more effective.”
The Board also agreed to a budget of US $ 15.8 million for ITIA operations in 2022 to cover both anti-corruption and anti-doping actions. “This represents the highest investment ever made by sport in integrity,” it was reported.
Professional players will be contacted by the ITF and ITIA in the coming weeks to provide details of the merger and provide further details of updates to the list of banned substances from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
In addition, the Board agreed to the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program rules for 2022, which now include a “forbidden association” clause. This means that “players, coaches or officials sanctioned for anti-corruption offenses” can no longer have any sports or professional associations with participants in the sport, either inside or outside sanctioned tournaments.
Between July and September this year, the ITIA received a total of 38 match alerts through its confidential agreements with the regulated gambling industry. This time, what was shocking about the data was not only the amount, but the category of four of those encounters with suspicious patterns: two corresponding to Wimbledon and two to the US Open. They are all under investigation.