American tennis legend Jimmy Connors wasn’t impressed with the ITIA handing sanctioning Mardy Fish and Bob Bryan over their promotion of a sports betting company. Fish and Bryan are both retired from pro tennis but they are a part of the United States Davis Cup team coaching staff.
Because of that, they are subject to the rules established by the ITIA. The ITIA has a strict policy regarding gambling on tennis as they prohibit players or coaches from “promoting, facilitating or encouraging gambling on tennis.”
Connors, a former tennis pro and a big sports fan, suggests that betting on sports makes the sports even more entertaining.
Connors slams the ITIA’s sanctions on Fish and Bryan
“So what’s the bad thing? Do they wanna go back to the dark ages? That (betting) just brings people more involved and get them more interested you know, what is going on with the players, who is the best, how they compete and so forth.
Tennis has been my life, but the excitement of being a basketball fan or baseball fan or football fan, the excitement of bringing that (betting) and being able to get more involved. I wanna watch tennis anyway but what’s gonna make me more involved and to be more part of it?” Connors explained.
The ITIA announced that both Fish and Bryan cooperated with the organization. Both Fish and Bryan were handed four-month suspensions and $10,000 fines. “Both individuals co-operated fully with the ITIA investigation and removed the posts immediately.
The suspensions do not come into force unless there is a further breach during the four-month period, which started on 11 November 2022. Both had been accredited as part of the US Davis Cup coaching team in 2022, meaning they are considered ‘covered persons’ and subject to the sport’s rules around relationships with betting operators,” the ITIA announced.
This past November, the United States competed at the Davis Cup Finals in Malaga, where they were beaten by Italy in the quarterfinal.
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