China’s Peng Shuai receives six-month anti-corruption ban - Taipei Times
Fri, Aug 10, 2018 - Page 16 News List

China’s Peng Shuai receives six-month anti-corruption ban

Reuters and AFP, LONDON

Former Wimbledon doubles champion Peng Shuai’s season was all but over on Wednesday after she was handed a six-month ban and a US$10,000 fine for breaching tennis’ anti-corruption code by attempting to change her doubles partner after a sign-in deadline.

The Chinese player, who triumphed at Wimbledon in 2013 and claimed the French Open doubles title a year later, was found to have used coercion and offered the possibility of financial reward in return for her main draw partner agreeing to withdraw from the women’s doubles event at Wimbledon last year.

Although the offer was refused and Peng did not compete in the doubles at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in July last year, the Tennis Integrity Unit said in a statement that her actions breached Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP) rules, which state that “no covered person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any event.”

“Peng Shuai was found to have used coercion and offered the possibility of financial reward in return for her main draw partner agreeing to withdraw from the ladies doubles event at Wimbledon 2017,” the unit said in a statement. “Although the offer was refused and Peng Shuai did not subsequently compete at the championships, it constituted a breach of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program.”

“Today’s decision ... imposes a six months ban, with three months suspended, and US$10,000 fine, with US$5,000 suspended, on condition that no further breaches of the TACP are committed,” it said.

“The suspension applies with immediate effect and means that the player cannot compete in or attend any event organized, sanctioned or recognized by the governing bodies of the sport,” it added.

The suspension means Peng, ranked 20th in doubles and 80th in singles, would be ruled out from the WTA Tour until Nov. 8, after which only minor tournaments are to be staged.

The 32-year-old was the No. 1 ranked doubles player in February 2014 and has a career-best singles ranking of No. 14 achieved in August 2011.

She has won two WTA singles titles, as well as two Grand Slam women’s doubles crowns at Wimbledon in 2013 and Roland Garros in 2014, both with Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei.

She has not played since last month at Wimbledon, where she was knocked out in the first round of the singles before a second-round exit in the doubles with teammate Latisha Chan of Taiwan.

Peng’s former French coach, Bertrand Perret, was suspended from obtaining tournament credentials for three months for the same offense.

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