In a significant development for the world of tennis, Stefan Milanov, a Bulgarian tennis official, has been handed a severe 16-year suspension by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA). This ruling follows Milanov’s previous six-month suspension in 2022, stemming from betting offenses. The decision was reached after Milanov was found guilty of a staggering 17 breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program. Despite the serious charges levied against him by the ITIA, Milanov opted not to respond or contest the allegations.

The proceedings were overseen by the independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer, Amani Khalifa, who not only decreed the significant 16-year suspension but also imposed a fine amounting to $75,000.

By choosing not to challenge the ITIA charges brought forth by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) concerning the five matches officiated in 2021, Milanov essentially admitted accountability for all the violations. The charges encompassed a spectrum of offenses, including facilitating wagering on events and delaying or manipulating scoring data entry. Milanov was also accused of attempting or conspiring to commit corruption offenses and failing to fully cooperate with ITIA investigations.

The suspension, which takes effect from the decision date of December 28, 2023, will last until midnight on December 27, 2039. Throughout this duration, Milanov is prohibited from officiating or attending any tennis events authorized or sanctioned by ITIA members. This encompasses prestigious organizations such as ATP, ITF, WTA, Tennis Australia, French Tennis Federation, Wimbledon, and USTA.

The ITIA’s stringent measures underline their commitment to maintaining the integrity of tennis and ensuring fair play within the sport. The severity of Milanov’s suspension serves as a stark reminder of the consequences individuals face for compromising the principles of honesty and fairness in professional tennis.

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