SHOCKING: Female Tennis Players Banned for Lifetime Over Match Fixing Scandal

Published 01/27/2021, 8:43 AM EST
A net with the WTA logo during the Western & Southern Open at Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 15th, 2019 in Mason, Ohio. (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


In shocking news, two Russian players have been suspended for life after they were found to be involved in a match-fixing scandal. Sofia Dmitrieva and Alija Merdeeva were the two players involved and now have been banned by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA).

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Alija Merdeeva has had the highest ranking of 928 in singles and 644 in doubles. Sofia Dmitrieva has had the highest ranking of 1191 in singles and 939 in doubles. The players were found guilty of match-fixing in various matches and some involved both of them as doubles partners as well.

A general view inside the Wimbledon Number 1 court with the new fixed and retractable roof after the Wimbledon Spring Press

What were Sofia Dmitrieva and Alija Merdeeva charged with?

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The anti-corruption agency of tennis, in a media release, said that the Russian players were found guilty of Section D.1.d of the 2018 Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme (TACP).

“The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has today confirmed that two Russian tennis players, Sofia Dmitrieva and Alija Merdeeva have been banned for life from the sport, following investigations into multiple incidents of match-fixing,” ITIA wrote in its media release.

The Section D.1.d of the 2018 Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme states that “No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any Event.”

One of the tennis players was charged with an additional offense

Merdeeva was involved in two incidents of match-fixing. Whereas Dmitrieva was found to be guilty of six match-fixing incidents. Dmitrieva was also charged with not cooperating with the ITIA investigation.

The WTA logo. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Section F.2.b/D.2.c of the 2019 TACP deals with the investigation rule which Dmitrieva infringed.

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“All Covered Persons must cooperate fully with investigations conducted by the TIU including giving evidence at hearings, if requested. After a Covered Person receives a TIU request for an initial interview or otherwise becomes aware of any TIU investigation involving the Covered Person”

This isn’t the first time a match-fixing scandal has rocked the tennis world. Earlier, in December 2020, Ukrainian tennis player, Stanislav Poplavskyy was found guilty of match-fixing and was handed a life ban.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1226 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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