Tennis Umpire Banned for Life for Manipulating Scores and Breaking Gambling Rules

Written by:
Alistair Prescott
Published on:

A Bulgarian tennis umpire has been banned for life after allegedly being found to have gambled 21 times over the past five years beginning in 2019.


Pavel Atanasov admitted to manipulating match scores data for betting purposes, gambling on matches and “failure to report corrupt approaches,” the International Tennis Integrity Agency said.  He initially contested the charges.

"In withdrawing from proceedings, Atanasov effectively admitted liability for numerous TACP offenses between 2019 and 2023," the ITIA said.

"Including the manipulation of scoring data of matches for betting purposes, facilitating wagering, conspiring to commit corruption offences, wagering on tennis matches, and failure to report corrupt approaches."

Atanasov said during the investigation he was paid less than $100 each day for umpiring at low-level International Tennis Federation events. He also was fined $10,000.

Atanasov, who has officiated at ITF $15K and $25K tournaments in Bulgaria, is permanently prohibited from officiating at or attending any tennis event authorised or sanctioned by the members of the ITIA (ATP, ITF, WTA, Tennis Australia, Fédération Française de Tennis, Wimbledon and USTA) or any national association.

The ITIA said the ban prevents the former umpire from attending tennis events as well.

This is the second high profile scandal involving the sports in so many days.  On Monday, Brazilian-Italian umpire Antonio Casa was suspended for seven years and six months after admitting to seven breaches of the TACP.

- Alistair Prescott,

Gambling News