This Tuesday, December 1st, the Tennis Integrity Unit sentenced to 8 years of suspension the Spaniard Enrique López Pérez for his implication in a case of rigged matches. "The case was heard on November 5, 2020. It was found that Enrique López Perez had broken the rules of the tennis anti-corruption program three times during tournaments in 2017, with two other unproven charges," the international body said. Ranked 154th in the world in 2018, Enrique López Pérez had been provisionally suspended at the end of 2019 while the investigation and the trial took place. Accepted on June 22 by the Spanish courts, the player asked TIU to end his suspension, a request that was finally rejected. And one understands better why after the condemnation of the player for 8 years and 25.000 dollars of fine.

As a result, the Spaniard sued the ATP to seek compensation for the financial damages suffered, about 100,000 euros according to the player (Australian Open, Covid-19 aid, Wimbledon, US Open, Roland Garros...). The player had also seized the CAS which had ruled in his favor: "This is completely absurd. But above all it is a violation of my most elementary rights. The suspension is completely illegal since it directly contradicts the Spanish courts and public prosecutor's office in their interpretation of the same evidence. » At the age of 29, Enrique López Pérez's career has never really taken off. He tried 17 times to qualify for a first round Grand Slam but failed each time. He only managed to play one match on the main circuit in Umag in 2016. However, he holds several ITF titles and a challenger title in Zhuhai in 2019. After the confirmation of his conviction on Tuesday, which the player discovered through the media, Enrique López Pérez published a press release to denounce what he considers to be an "unprecedented scandal":

Given the suspension issued by the TIU for allegedly rigged matches, I must clarify:

  • That the facts of which I am accused have already been investigated and prosecuted before the Investigating Court number 5 of the National Court of Madrid.
  • That this investigation with the same evidence was closed in July 2020, declaring me innocent of the crimes of match-fixing at the discretion of the prosecutor and the judge.

Therefore, the suspension carried out by the tennis authorities through Richard McLaren is completely illegal, as it directly contradicts the Spanish courts and prosecutor's office in their interpretation of the same evidence, violating my fundamental rights and judging twice the same facts with different criteria. For this reason, actions have been brought before the CAS and before the Spanish courts themselves against an unprecedented scandal in the sports sector, because never has a federation ignored what a state criminal judge at the time ruled to evaluate certain facts in order to punish one of its members. They said they interpreted the evidence differently. I insist, this is absolute madness.

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