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© Junn Mitsuhashi

Japanese tennis player banned for life

Japanese tennis player Junn Mitsuhashi has been banned for life and fined $50 000 after being found guilty of match-fixing and betting offences, the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) said on Tuesday.

Mitsuhashi, who peaked at 295 in the singles rankings in 2009, was accused of asking Joshua Chetty, a player he had coached, to approach a competitor during an International Tennis Federation (ITF) event in South Africa in November 2015.

Using Chetty as an intermediary, Mitsuhashi offered the player $2 000 to underperform in a singles match and $600 in a doubles match, the TIU said.

The player rejected the offer and reported the approach to the TIU. Under the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program, money or other benefit does not have to change hands to constitute a serious corruption offence, the TIU told Reuters in an email.

Chetty was banned for life last September following a separate TIU investigation.

Mitsuhashi was also found guilty of making a direct approach to another player at an ITF event in Nigeria in December 2015 and asking him to fix certain aspects of a match.

The 27-year-old placed 76 bets on tennis matches between October and November 2015 and refused to cooperate with the anti-corruption body's investigation, which are also offences.

"The ban from all professional tennis applies with immediate effect and means the player is not allowed to compete in, or attend, any tournament or event organised or sanctioned by the governing bodies of the sport," the TIU said in a separate statement on its website.


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