Tennis player receives lifetime ban and $50,000 fine

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Japanese tennis player Junn Mitsuhashi has been banned from the sport for life and fined $50,000 after being found guilty of a number of match fixing offences.

ESPN reported the the Tennis Integrity Unit found Mitsuhashi guilty of making corrupt approaches to other players, betting on tennis matches and refusing to co-operate with the TIU investigation.

Mitsuhashi, 27, asked Joshua Chetty, who was a player he used to coach, to approach another player in an ITF Futures Tournament in Stellenbosch, South Africa in November 2015.

The South African born Chetty, 21, was also banned for life in September of last year.

After approaching Chetty, Mitsuhashi approached another player to fix aspects of a match at a Futures Tournament in Lagos, Nigeria.

Mitsuhashi was far from a household name, having reached a highest ranking of 295 in 2009 and highest doubles ranking of 217 a year later.

He never qualified for the major draw of an ATP event in his career, but it's becoming a growing problem in the sport.

Earlier this year, three Australian players were found guilty of match fixing offences, although their penalties were not as severe.

Nick Lindahl was banned for seven years and fined $48,000, while Isaac Frost and Brandon Walker were banned for a year and six months respectively.

The offences all came from the same Futures Tournament in 2013.

Like Mitsuhashi, the trio failed to co-operate with the investigation.

For all the money and prestige that surrounds the game of tennis, it can be a very lonely existence on the circuit.

Players ranked below the top 100 have to battle away on the challenger circuits looking to make some hard earned money and collect ranking points as they aim to qualify for the main tournaments.

However, these individuals, looked to take the easy road by making some quick money, but instead threw away their careers and tarnished the sport in the process.

However it is not just the lower end of tennis which has been tarred with the match-fixing brush. 

In early 2016, a report from the BBC and Buzzfeed on the verge of the Australian Open, said that the sports authorities had overlooked suspected cases of match-fixing involving some top players, although none were named in the report.

It led tennis great Roger Federer to say the situation was "super serious and that anyone who engages in match-fixing should be identified publicly."

To this point, it seems confined to the Challenger and Futures circuits, but tennis, like cricket and football before them, must continue to crack down hard on anyone who looks to break the rules for their own personal gain.

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US Open Tennis
Rafael Nadal
Roger Federer
Novak Djokovic
Australian Open
Andy Murray

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