Tennis player cops staggering 16-year suspension for illegal act

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Ksenia Palkina, pictured here in a doubles match in 2010.
Ksenia Palkina in a doubles match in 2010. Image: Getty

Kyrgyzstan tennis player Ksenia Palkina has been hit with an extraordinary 16-year ban from the sport for match-fixing.

The International Tennis Integrity Agency announced the punishment on Sunday after Palkina admitted to fixing matches in 2018 and 2019.

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The Russian-born player's ban has been backdated to the start of her provisional suspension on the 22nd of November 2019.

Six of the 16 years have been suspended, meaning Palkina can return to the sport in 2029.

She was also slapped with a $142,000 fine ($124,000 of which is suspended).

The ITIA said Palkina is free to resume her career after the suspension comes to an end, provided she doesn't break any more anti-corruption rules.

However the 32-year-old's career is likely over. She will be 39 by the time she is allowed back onto the court.

The sanctions prohibit Palkina from playing in or attending any event authorised or sanctioned by any international tennis governing body or national association for the duration of her ban.

Ksenia Palkina, pictured here after winning an ITF doubles title.
Ksenia Palkina (R) won't be able to return to tennis until 2029. Image: Twitter

Ksenia Palkina breached four anti-corruption rules

The ITIA said Palkina breached four sections of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program rules.

Section D.1.d of the 2018 and 2019 TACP states: “No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive, attempt to contrive, agree to contrive, or conspire to contrive the outcome, or any other aspect, of any Event.”

Section D.1.e states: “No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, solicit, facilitate, or conspire to solicit or facilitate any Player to not use his or her best efforts in any Event.”

Section D.1.f states: “No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, solicit, receive, agree in the future to receive, or conspire to solicit, receive or agree in the future to receive any money, benefit or Consideration on the basis of not giving their best efforts in any Event and/or negatively influencing another Player’s best efforts in any Event.”

And section D.2.a.i states: “In the event any Player is approached by any person who offers or provides any type of money, benefit or Consideration to a Player to (i) influence the outcome or any other aspect of any Event, or (ii) provide Inside Information, it shall be the Player’s obligation to report such incident to the TIU [now ITIA] as soon as possible."

Palkina turned pro in 2004 and has earned about $220,000 in career prize money.

She has 11 singles and 27 doubles titles to her name on the ITF tour - the tier below the WTA tour.

She peaked at World No.163 on the WTA singles rankings in 2009, and reached World No.164 in doubles in 2010.

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