The International Tennis Integrity Agency, a global independent organization established to protect tennis integrity around the globe, announced that it had imposed a new regulation sanction against a Bolivian chair umpire. ITIA announced that the umpire Heriberto Churata was temporarily banned from the sport following an investigation that revealed he had manipulated scores to bet on.
The Agency stated that the breaches mentioned above date back to 2021 events, as well 2022 within the ITF World Tennis Tour. The umpire who was also a green-badge official manipulated data by entering incorrect scores on a handheld device. Churata received a six-year ban from the ITIA as a result.
The ban prohibits the umpire from officiating in any tennis match that is sanctioned or authorized by the governing bodies. The ban also prevents Churata to attend events organized by the ITIA. The Agency also imposed a fine of $10,000 against the Bolivian umpire.
“Morales Churata was found to be a green badge officiant who manipulated scores in order to manipulate betting by entering incorrect scores into a handheld device during ITF World Tennis Tour 2021 and 2020 events. The official was also fined $10,000.
Explains a statement by the ITIA
Tennis Integrity body uncovers multiple breaches
The ITIA’s investigation revealed multiple violations of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program. The integrity watchdog stated that Churata violated Section D.1.b and Section D.1.m of the 2021 Tennis Anti-Corruption Program. These sections forbid covered persons to manipulate the results of tennis matches, and require any breaches be reported.
The ITIA also stated that the umpire violated the same sections of the 2022 TACP. Five violations were recorded in each section. Churata also violated Section D.2.b.ii from the 2021-2022 TACP. This section requires that any suspected manipulations, or breaches be reported.
The ITIA stated that the case was handled under the 2023 “agreed sanctions” framework, which allows for the application of a sanction to be implemented without an hearing or upon admitting the offence. Churata was banned from the sport on Dec 8, 2022. This marked the beginning of his temporary suspension. The sanction will ban the umpire from the sport until December 7, 2028.