Spanish tennis player Guillermo Olaso, currently ranked 236 on the ATP Tour, has been banned for five years and ordered to pay a fine of $25,000 after failing to report an approach to fix the outcome of a Challenger Circuit match in Kazakhstan in 2010. Olasa, who lost the game, denies participation in match-rigging and said he had suffered “fear and anxiety” after being contacted.
Olaso is expected to appeal the ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. His defense team, which is led by lawyer Javier Tebas, the president of the Spanish Professional Football League, will put forward that he was a victim of extortion.
Like other tennis players, Olaso was contacted by an organized crime gang during his travels across the globe on the Challenger Circuit, tennis’s second tier. The modus operandi is well-known after Serbian player David Savic was banned for life after proposing to fellow competitors that they allow him to win the first set of certain matches, offering $30,000 on behalf of an online betting ring.
Olaso was found guilty by the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU), set up in 2008 with the ATP, WTA and ITF, of “contriving or attempting to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any event.” The TIU has sanctioned almost a dozen players for fixing games, betting on the outcome or not informing authorities of an approach to do so.