Five tennis players suspended for link to match-fixing syndicate

LONDON -- Five low-ranked tennis players -- four from Mexico and one from Guatemala -- were suspended for corruption linked to a match-fixing syndicate in Belgium, the International Tennis Integrity Agency said Thursday.

The players are connected to the criminal case of Grigor Sargsyan, the leader of the syndicate, the ITIA said, and follow bans on seven Belgian players that were announced last week.

The players whose punishments were revealed Thursday include Alberto Rojas Maldonado, a Mexican banned from tennis for life and fined $250,000, the maximum allowed. Maldonado, ranked a career-best 992nd in 2015, committed 92 breaches "and played a pivotal role in the corruption of other players," according to the ITIA.

The others, all of whose bans also took effect on Sept. 30, are Christopher Díaz Figueroa, José Antonio Rodríguez Rodríguez, Antonio Ruiz Rosales and Orlando Alcántara Rangel.

Figueroa, a Guatemalan who was ranked 326th in 2011, was suspended for life and fined $75,000. He previously served a ban for match-fixing that was announced in 2018.

Rodríguez Rodríguez, a Mexican ranked 1,367th in 2017, was found to have acted with Maldonado for what the ITIA ruling called "significant financial gain" and was barred for 12 years and fined $25,001.

Rosales, a Mexican ranked 652nd in 2008, was suspended for 10 years and fined $30,000. Rangel, a Mexican who was ranked 1,735th in 2015, was banned for two years and fined $10,000.