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TIU provisionally suspends Albina Khabibulina amid corruption concerns

Following an investigation by the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU), Uzbekistani tennis player Albina Khabibulina has been provisionally suspended from professional tennis after being found to be in breach of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme.

Khabibulina, who was suspended by independent Anti-corruption Hearing Officer (AHO) Prof Richard H. McLaren with immediate effect, was found to be in breach of Section 3 of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme.

The ruling means that Khabibulina, who is currently ranked as 294 in WTA doubles, will be prohibited from competing in or attending any sanctioned tennis event organised or recognised by the governing bodies of the sport.

Under section 3 of the Anti-Corruption Programme, the ruling details that a player may be provisionally suspended if the following conditions are satisfied: “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;

“(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.”

Earlier this year, the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) issued a crack down on corruption in the sport after issuing a fine and a suspension to players found to be in contravention of regulations.

Issuing a $51,250 (£41,000) fine to former world No 50 Anna Tatishvili and a nine month suspension to German tennis player Osman Torski, the TIU focused upon enforcing the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP).

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