The Tennis Integrity Supervisory Board has confirmed that the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA), which already oversees match-fixing, gambling and corruption issues, will take on responsibility for the sport’s anti-doping programme from 1 January 2022. This was a unanimous decision.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) previously oversaw the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme.
“Having one fully integrated organisation working on both anti-doping and anti-corruption creates a major opportunity for the sport. Shared intelligence and shared resources will make us more efficient, and most importantly, more effective,” said Jennie Price, Chair of the Tennis Integrity Supervisory Board.
“This is the result of a great deal of planning in the last 12 months to ensure we are ready to hit the ground running on 1 January. The independence of the ITIA is crucial when it comes to integrity matters and tennis can be proud that it is leading the way.”
The move will see integrity matters in the sport concerning doping and corruption jointly come under the auspices of the ITIA, an independent body funded by the governing bodies of tennis. Nicole Sapstead was appointed in May 2021 as Senior Director, Anti-Doping, and will oversee the programme. This was presented as an option by the Independent Review Panel report of 2018 and confirmed in principle by the International Governing Bodies of the sport in 2019.
In addition to finalising the integration of anti-doping, the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program rules for 2022 were also agreed upon by the Tennis Integrity Supervisory Board. These now include a “prohibited association” clause, mirroring the anti-doping regulations.
Players, coaches or officials who have been sanctioned for anti-corruption offences can no longer have any sporting or professional association with participants in the sport, whether inside or outside of sanctioned events. There will also be more scope for investigations to cross over between codes to allow evidence from Anti-Corruption cases to be used in Anti-Doping investigations and vice versa.
“This is a really important moment for tennis,” said David Haggerty, President of the ITF. “As a sport, we committed to more transparency and complete independence for the way the doping and anti-corruption programmes are managed. We have worked closely with the ITIA to ensure a seamless handover of responsibilities and we look forward to supporting their efforts moving forward.”
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