The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has announced that a tennis chair umpire has been banned for multiple breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP).
According to the announcement, Heriberto Morales Churata from Bolivia has been banned from the sport for six years and fined $10,000 after an investigation found that he manipulated scores for betting purposes. The ITIA revealed that the umpire entered incorrect scores into his handheld device at ITF World Tennis Tour events that took place in 2021 and 2022.
Morales Churuta admitted the offences and was sanctioned under the 2023 TACP agreed sanction framework. As a result of his admission of guilt no hearing was required and the ITIA was able to make an immediate decision on his punishment. The umpire’s suspension from the sport has been backdated to the beginning of his provisional suspension which started on December 8th 2022 and will run until December 7th 2028. During his suspension, Morales Churata is not permitted to officiate or attend any tennis event that is sanctioned by any of the governing bodies of the sport.
This is the second time this year that the ITIA has issued sanctions over betting breaches. In March of 2023, two players were provisionally suspended following allegations of gambling breaches.