By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Friday, November 10, 2023
Seven Belgian players have been suspended from tennis after a series of convictions in a Belgian match-fixing syndicate.
The suspensions stem from a recently concluded criminal case involving a match-fixing syndicate in Belgium.
Collaboration between the International Tennis Integrity Agency and Belgian authorities led to a five-year custodial sentence for the leader of the syndicate, Grigor Sargsyan.
All seven players—Arnaud Graisse, Arthur de Greef (pictured above), Julien Dubail, Romain Barbosa, Maxime Authom, Omar Salman, and Alec Witmeur—were convicted by the criminal court and have subsequently agreed sanctions, the ITIA announced today.
Three players—Witmeur, de Greef and Barbosa—have been provisionally suspended by an AHO since May 2021 when they were formally charged in the criminal process in Belgium, as they were active players at that time.
Time served under provisional suspension will be credited against these players’ periods of ineligibility.
Witmeur admitted to six breaches of the TACP, while de Greef and Barbosa both admitted to nine breaches.
The ITIA announced their sanctions are as follows:
Arthur de Greef, who reached a career-high ATP singles ranking of 113 in 2017, has been suspended for three years and nine months, and fined $45,000 with $31,500 suspended. De Greef’s suspension ends on February 26, 2025.
Romain Barbosa, who reached a career-high ATP singles ranking of 403 in 2016, has been suspended for three years and nine months, and fined $45,000 – with $31,500 suspended. Barbosa’s suspension ends on February 26, 2025.
Alec Witmeur, who reached a career-high ATP singles ranking of 1056 in 2011, has been suspended for two years and seven months, and fined $30,000 – with $21,000 suspended. Witmeur’s suspension ends on December 26, 2023
For the remaining four players – Graisse (12 breaches), Dubail (nine breaches), Salman (six breaches) and Authom (six breaches) – the sanctions take effect from the date of their agreed sanction.
Their sanctions are as follows:
Arnaud Graisse, unranked, has been suspended for four years and 10 months, and fined $60,000 – with $42,000 suspended. Graisse’s suspension began on October 2, 2023, and will end on August 1, 2028.
Julien Dubail, who reached a career-high ATP singles ranking of 371 in 2012, has been suspended for three years and nine months, and fined $45,000 – with…