Brazilian tennis player Joao Olavo Soares de Souza has received a lifetime ban together with a fine of $200,000 by the International Tennis Federation after being convicted of multiple match-fixing and associated corruption offences. De Souza was provisionally suspended since March of last year and on Saturday, the tennis body made the decision following a hearing which took earlier this month in London. Also Read - S Sreesanth Returns After Seven-year Ban: Former India Pacer Set To Play In KCA President's Cup T20
The ITF revealed that de Souza, between 2015 and 2019, fixed matches in the ATP Challenger and ITF Future Tournaments in Brazil, Mexico, the United States and Czech Republic. Also Read - Mohammad Azharuddin on His Ban From Cricket, Finishing at 99 Tests, Importance of Fielding in Modern Day Cricket
De Souza was found guilty of not only fixing, but of failing to report corruption charges and cooperation regarding the same by Richard McLaren, an Anti-Corruption hearing officer. He revealed that de Souza has also destroyed evidence related to his involvement in fixing and bribed other players to not put in their best efforts. Also Read - Coronavirus Pandemic: India's Davis Cup Tie Against Finland in September Postponed to 2021
Coached by former Brazilian player Ricardo Acioly, during his career, de Souza reached his highest ATP singles ranking, No. 69, on April 6, 2015, and his highest ATP doubles ranking, No. 70, on January 7, 2013. In 2011, he qualified to the US Open, but was defeated in the first round by wildcard Robby Ginepri.
At the Medellin Challenger in 2014, de Souza beat Facundo Bagnis in semifinals and lost to Austin Krajicek in the final. He reached semifinals at the Quito Challenger. In 2016, he won the 2016 International Tennis Tournament of Cortina on the ATP Challenger Tour, beating Laslo Dere in the final in straight sets.
(With Inputs from The Associated Press)