By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Wednesday, November 3, 2023
Committing corruption has killed Timur Khabibulin’s competitive career..
Khabibulin, who reached an ATP career-high doubles rank of No. 154, has been banned from tennis for life and fined $60,000 for multiple match-fixing acts. Khabibulin was found liable for 21 individual charges relating to match fixing between 2014 and 2019, the International Tennis Integrity Agency announced today.
The ban means the 28-year-old from Kazakhstan is prohibited from playing in, coaching at, or attending any tennis event “authorized or sanctioned by the members of the ITIA: ATP, ITF, WTA, Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and US Open, or any national association,” the ITIA said.
Khabibulin’s last pro match was a qualifying loss in an ITF Challenger in his native Kazakhstan in July of 2022.
Sanjar Fayziev from Uzbekistan has been banned for three years and six months, with six months suspended, and fined $15,000 after being found guilty of match fixing charges. Fayziev, who also attained an ATP doubles rank of No. 154, was found liable for five charges relating to two matches in 2018.
Israel’s Igor Smilansky has been banned for two years and hit with a $4,000 fine, with $1,000 suspended. Former world No. 451 Smilansky was found liable for three corruption charges relating to one match in 2018.
The ITA said sanctions will begin from the date of the players’ provisional suspensions on July 25th, 2023 which means Fayziev will be suspended until July 24th, 2026 and Smilansky will be suspended until July 24th, 2025 (subject to their fines being paid or repayment schemes agreed).
Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve