Chinese grand slam champion Peng Shuai and her former coach, Bertrand Perret, have been handed bans by the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) for breaching the sport’s anti-corruption code.
The case concerns Peng attempting to change her ladies doubles partner after sign-in deadline for the 2017 edition of the Wimbledon Championships. Peng was found to have used coercion and offered the possibility of financial reward in return for her main draw partner agreeing to withdraw from the event.
Although the offer was refused and Peng did not subsequently compete at the Championships, the TIU ruled that the offer constituted a breach of Section D.1.d of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP) which states that: “No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any Event.”
A hearing has imposed a six-month ban, along with a $10,000 (€8,500) fine on the 32-year-old, half of which is suspended on condition that no further breaches of the TACP are committed. The suspension applies with immediate effect and means that the player cannot compete in or attend any event organised, sanctioned or recognised by the governing bodies of the sport.
Assuming no further breaches of the TACP are committed, Peng will be eligible to play again on November 8. In a companion ruling, the TIU imposed a three-month period of suspension of credentials on Perret.
Peng is currently ranked world No.20 in doubles and No.80 in singles. She was the No.1 ranked doubles player in February 2014 and has a career-best singles ranking of No.14 achieved in August 2011.
Peng was ranked No. 1 in doubles in 2014 and reached a career-high singles ranking of No.14 in 2011. She won the women’s doubles at Wimbledon in 2013 and the French Open in 2014, with those titles amongst 21 doubles triumphs in total.