Croatian umpire Pitner gets 10-year ban

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A Croatian umpire who worked at the US Open despite being suspended for betting offences has been given a 10-year ban, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced on Tuesday.

Denis Pitner was originally banned for 12 months last August after passing on fitness details of a player to a coach and accessing a betting account used to place bets on tennis matches.

But an error by the United States Tennis Association meant that he was able to work as a line judge at Flushing Meadows during last year’s tournament.

“The International Tennis Federation announced today that tennis official Denis Pitner, of Croatia, has had his ITF officiating certification suspended for a period of 10 years after being found guilty of offences under the Code of Conduct for Officials,” the ITF said in a statement.

Pitner also successfully applied to work at the Qatar Open in January and the ITF revealed that he had applied to work at this year’s Wimbledon as well.

The suspension of Pitner and a life ban given to Kazakh umpire Kirill Parfenov in February 2015 only came to light following an investigation by the Guardian earlier this year.

Sanctions for match officials were not previously made public, but that rule was changed last December.

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