London: Egyptian player Youssef Hossam has been banned from professional tennis for life for match-fixing, two years after his brother was also permanently excluded from the sport on corruption charges.
A statement from the Tennis Integrity Unit issued Monday said the 21-year-old Youssef Hassam, provisionally suspended since May 2019, had been banned for life following his conviction on multiple match-fixing and associated corruption charges.
The punishment was imposed by Jane Mulcahy QC, a senior English lawyer, following a three-day disciplinary hearing in London in March.
According to the statement, a TIU investigation revealed that in the four years from 2015-2019, Hossam "conspired with other parties to carry out an extensive campaign of betting-related corruption at the lower levels of professional tennis".
These involved 21 breaches of tennis' anti-corruption programme, including eight cases of match fixing, six of facilitating gambling, two of soliciting other players not to use best efforts, three failures to report corrupt approaches and two failures to co-operate with a TIU investigation.
Hossam, currently a lowly 810 in the ATP singles rankings, having reached a career high of 291 in December 2017, is now "permanently excluded from competing in or attending any sanctioned tennis event organised or recognised by the governing bodies of the sport", the TIU statement said.
Life bans are comparatively rare in tennis but in 2018 Youssef's brother, Karim Hossam, received such a suspension after being found guilty of 16 corruption charges that included providing inside information and facilitating betting.
While the likes of Roger Federer and Serena Williams are multi-millionaires, there have long been concerns that players in the lower levels of professional tennis are especially vulnerable to corruption given the relatively meagre prize money on offer in their tournaments.