Algeria's Aymen Ikhlef has been handed a lifetime ban for multiple breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme, the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) announced on Monday. Ikhlef, 23, was found guilty of match-fixing, soliciting other players not to give their best effort, failing to report a corrupt approach and failing to co-operate with the TIU during the investigation.
Ikhlef, who achieved a career-high ranking of No. 1739 in 2015, was also handed a $100,000 fine. "Algerian tennis player Aymen Ikhlef has been banned for life from the sport after an investigation by the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) uncovered multiple breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme (TACP) rules by the player.
The player has also been fined $100,000," the TIU's statement read. "The disciplinary case was heard by Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer Richard McLaren. He found that Mr Ikhlef made 10 breaches of the TACP. The subsequent sanction means that from 11th December 2020, the player is permanently prohibited from playing in or attending any tennis event authorised or sanctioned by the governing bodies of tennis.
"Mr Ikhlef who had a highest ATP singles ranking of 1739, was found guilty of four instances of match fixing, two instances of soliciting other players not to use their best efforts, three instances of failure to report a corrupt approach and one charge of failing to co-operate with the TIU investigation.
Ikhlef joins Stanislav Poplavskyy on the lifetime ban list
Ikhlef, who last played at a Futures event in 2018 June, wasn't the only player that received a lifetime ban from the sport this month. Earlier this month, the TIU issued a lifetime ban to Ukrainian Poplavskyy.
"Ukrainian tennis player Stanislav Poplavskyy has been issued with a lifetime ban from the sport after an investigation by the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) found that he had partaken in match fixing and courtsiding activities on multiple occasions between 2015 and 2019," the TIU's statement read.
"Mr Poplavskyy who had a highest ATP ranking of 440, was also charged with and found guilty of facilitating courtsiding and a failure to report multiple approaches asking him to contrive matches. Courtsiding is a prohibited practice which involves transmission of live scoring data from a match to a third party for betting purposes."
Meanwhile, Spanish tennis player Enrique Lopez-Perez escaped a lifetime ban but he was still issued a lengthy suspension as he won't be playing on the professional circuit for at least eight years.