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World number 164 Lestienne banned for betting on matches

Constant Lestienne

Constant Lestienne has never won an ATP title

A French tennis player has been suspended for seven months and fined $10,000 (£7,698) after being found guilty of betting on 220 matches.

World number 164 Constant Lestienne committed the offences between February 2012 and June 2015.

The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) said none of the matches involved Lestienne, who is yet to win an ATP title.

Half of the 24-year-old’s ban is suspended “on condition of no further offences”, the TIU said.

His fine will also be halved if he “gives assistance” – which can include with anti-corruption education for other players – to the TIU.

The TIU was set up in September 2008 to combat betting-related corruption in tennis.

It is a joint venture between the International Tennis Federation (ITF), WTA, ATP and the Grand Slam Board, which oversees the sport’s four majors.

Lepchenko cleared of blame over positive test

The ITF, meanwhile, has announced world number 79 Varvara Lepchenko “bore no fault or negligence” after testing positive for the banned substance meldonium.

The heart drug was put on the prohibited list by the World Anti-Doping Agency in January, but studies showed it takes longer to be cleared from the system than first thought.

The ITF accepted Lepchenko’s argument that she had stopped taking the drug prior to it being banned.

Five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova is the most high-profile athlete to have been banned for testing positive for meldonium.

In June, the Russian was suspended for two years, though she has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, with a verdict is expected in early October.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/37427243