Independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer Prof Richard McLaren has denied an application by Bulgarian tennis player Aleksandrina Naydenova to lift a provisional suspension originally imposed on her on 27 December 2019.
Due to restrictions in place at the time of the provisional suspension, the original decision by Prof McLaren was not publicly reported.
As a result of today’s decision the 28-year old will continue to be prohibited from competing in or attending any sanctioned tennis event organised or recognised by the governing bodies of the sport.
The provisional suspension relates to an investigation by the Tennis Integrity Unit into alleged breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP).
The Section of the TACP relating to the granting of provisional suspensions is as follows:
3. Provisional Suspension.
a. The PTIOs may at any time make an application to an AHO for a Provisional Suspension of a Covered Person, including (i) before a Notice has been issued, (ii) before a Hearing or (iii) at any time after a Hearing but prior to the AHO’s issuance of a written Decision. Except as provided in Section G.4.a (in which case a Provisional Suspension is mandatory), a Provisional Suspension may be imposed if the AHO is satisfied on the preponderance of the evidence that at least one of the conditions set out at (i) and (ii) below are met:
i. a Covered Person has (i) failed to comply with a Demand or (ii) delayed or obstructed, without reasonable justification, compliance with a Demand or purported to comply with a Demand through the provision of any object or information that has been tampered with, damaged, disabled or otherwise altered from its original state; or
ii. (i) there is a likelihood that the Covered Person has committed a Corruption Offense punishable by permanent ineligibility; (ii) in the absence of a Provisional Suspension, the integrity of tennis would be undermined; and (iii) the harm resulting from the absence of a Provisional Suspension outweighs the hardship of the Provisional Suspension on the Covered Person.
Ms Naydenova is currently ranked 239 in WTA singles.
The Tennis Integrity Unit is an initiative of the Grand Slam Board, the International Tennis Federation, the ATP and the WTA, who are jointly committed to a zero tolerance approach to any form of betting-related corruption in tennis.