French Players handed life bans in match-fixing case

Clay court Credit: Alamy
Clay court Credit: Alamy

Following an investigation into multiple incidents of match-fixing dating back to 2014, two French tennis players have been banned for life.

Now 29-years-old, Mick Lescure, who reached a career-high 487th in the world, was found guilty of eight charges and was also handed a $40,000 (£32,500) fine.

Meanwhile, 25-year-old Jules Okala, whose highest ranking was 338, was found guilty of seven charges and given a fine of $15,000 (£12,170).

The International Tennis Integrity Agency brought charges against the players following an investigation into organised crime in a joint operation between France and Belgium.

A sanction notice from the ITIA read: “The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has today confirmed that two French tennis players Jules Okala and Mick Lescure, have been banned from the sport permanently following investigations into multiple incidents of match fixing since 2014.

The cases were ruled on by independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer Charles Hollander KC and the sanctions mean that both players are permanently prohibited from playing in or attending any tennis event sanctioned by the governing bodies of tennis.

“25 year old Okala who had a highest ATP ranking of 338, was found guilty of seven match fixing charges and as well as the lifetime ban has been issued with a fine of $15,000. 29 year old Lescure who had a highest ATP ranking of 487, was found guilty of eight charges and has been fined $40,000. The players have both been part of wider law enforcement investigations in France and Belgium.

“The breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme (TACP) that the players have been found guilty of are:

Okala:

Three counts of section D.2.a.i of the 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018 TACPs: In the event any Player is approached by any person who offers or provides any type of money, benefit or Consideration to a Player to (i) influence the outcome or any other aspect of any Event… it shall be the Player’s obligation to report such incident to the TIU [Now ITIA] as soon as possible.

Two counts of section D.1.d of the 2017 TACP: No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any Event.

Two counts of section D.1.e of the 2017 TACP: No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, solicit or facilitate any Player to not use his or her best efforts in any Event.

Lescure:

Seven counts of section D.1.d of the 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018 TACPs: No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any Event.

Two counts of section D.1.e of the TACP from 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018 TACPs: No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, solicit or facilitate any Player to not use his or her best efforts in any Event.

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