French tennis pro banned for 7 months


French tennis professional Constant Lestienne has been handed a seven month suspension and a $10,000 (£7,698) fine by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) following an investigation by the Tennis Integrity Unit (TUI).

Lestinenne, 24, was convicted of betting on 220 tennis matches between February 2012 and June 2015. Lestienne was not a player in any of the matches under investigation, but the wagers nevertheless violates ITF rules.

According to the TUI, half of his playing ban will be suspended if the tennis pro, currently ranked number 205 in the world, if he commits no other offences. The agency has also offered to halve his fine if he assists them in other ways, possibly helping other players avoid similar ethical lapses.

Lestienne competes mostly in the ITF curcuit, where he has won three singles titles and two doubles titles. The Frenchman has appeared in the qualifying rounds of two career grand slams, the French Open in 2015, and Wimbledon in 2016. He was eliminated in the first qualifying round in each instance. His career winnings total $43,387 (£33,466).

The TUI, which was a joint creating of the ITF, WTA, ATP, and Grand Slam Board, also recently banned two tennis officials from Uzbekistan for life following gambling-related offences.

Image si.robi. Used under Creative Commons license.