Italian tennis stars face ban for match-fixing

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Daniele Bracciali (L) and Potito Starace have both already served several short bans. Photo Michal Cizek/AFP
08:48 CET+01:00
Italian pair Potito Starace and Daniele Bracciali have been provisionally suspended for 40 days pending a corruption inquiry, Italian press said on Thursday.

The Italian Tennis Federation (Fit) had said in a statement on Wednesday: "Bracciali and Starace are suspected of having distorted the result of certain matches in order to make illicit gains through betting."

Both players have already served short bans - six weeks for Starace and three months for Bracciali - in 2008 in another betting scandal. Italian press claimed the Fit had decided to act because of the "repetition of illicit behaviour by the two players".

The players' names featured in an inquiry being conducted by the public prosecutor in Cremona, which had focused on match-fixing in football known as 'Calcioscommesse'.

Starace is suspected of having thrown his ATP Casablanca final against Spain's Mariano Andujar in 2011 - he lost 6-1, 6-2.

Several bets were placed on a quick victory and Starace winning only a few games, despite the fact his record against Andujar at that point was five wins from five. Investigators say they have sms and 'chat' exchanges that point to possible match-fixing.

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The calcioscommesse scandal has seen numerous footballers and officials banned, including most notably current Italy coach Antonio Conte, who was handed a four-month suspension while he was Juventus boss for events that occurred when he was in charge of Siena.

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