Sports betting offers criminals a wide variety of targets. The manipulation of matches is the classic offence. Recently, Spanish tennis pro Aaron Cortes was banned for 15 years because he was apparently involved in such offences. He is accused of 35 offences against the Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme (TACP).

There has never been more manipulation and betting fraud in sport: this is the conclusion reached by the Swiss analysts at Sportradar (we reported). Nevertheless, such incidents are still an anomaly. Especially in Europe and in mainstream sports, where broad-based and effective monitoring methods are generally used.

However, Europe and the world's sports are not completely immune when it comes to dishonest dealings involving the manipulation of results or other fraud. This was recently demonstrated by the "Aaron Cortes" case. The Spaniard is accused of having violated applicable corruption laws in 35 cases. According to international reporting, the main offences include influencing the outcome of events, accepting money to influence the outcome of events and failing to report corrupt practices. The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) also published that Cortes bet on tennis and provided tournament organisers with money in exchange for a wild card.

These penalties were imposed on Cortes

How Aaron Cortes was caught has not been officially announced by the ITIA or reported in the press (possibly for investigative reasons in the future). Only the sentence has been made public. The reprimand is likely to cost the 29-year-old his career.

According to the ITIA, he is said to have cooperated fully with the investigations against him. He accepted the agreed sanctions and waived the right to appeal to an independent anti-corruption hearing officer.

  • As a result, Cortes will be banned from practising his profession from March 2024 until 26 March 2039. During the ban, Cortes will not be allowed to play, train or participate in events authorised or organised by ITIA members or national associations.
  • He was also ordered to pay a fine of 75,000 US dollars, of which 56,250 dollars will be suspended.

Other cases of corruption in Europe

In fact, the ITIA has imposed a whole series of sanctions in recent weeks. According to the media, this wave is part of an intensified initiative against corruption in tennis. Not only players but also officials are affected.

  • In April, Italian official Manuel Guion was banned for five years and six months for offences against the TACP. The ban is valid until 4 August 2029.
  • In March, Croatian official Marko Stojanovic was also banned from the sport for five years and six months. This came after the ITIA found several violations of the TACP, including the manipulation of match data to facilitate betting.
  • Italian player Andrea Rita was also banned for 15 months for breaching the betting rules.
  • Frenchman Maxence Broville was also banned after failing to co-operate with an anti-corruption investigation, resulting in a seven-year ban.


The many cases of corruption offences in European tennis are worrying. It is reasonable to assume that the number of unreported offences is high. It is quite possible that even more offences will be uncovered in the coming months as a result of the increased attention. However, Aaron Cortes' blatant sentence is likely to remain outstanding. A 15-year ban does not happen every day. The ITIA is an organisation that works with the most important governing bodies worldwide to safeguard the integrity of professional tennis, including the ITF, ATP, WTA and the four Grand Slam tournaments (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open). This means that Cortes will not be allowed to play in any of these events until he is 44 years old, which will inevitably be the end of his career.

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