If you think it’s been a tough year, it has.
And then, there is the story of Roberto Maytín of Venezuela.
Maytín, a doubles specialist whose career-high ranking of No. 86 came back in 2015, was diagnosed with testicular cancer back in late 2019.
He had surgery, then chemotherapy. And then, in March, he had surgery to remove his left kidney.
But by August, he announced he was cancer-free and began the rigorous process of trying to get himself back into playing shape.
He had planned to return at Wimbledon.
On Wednesday, the International Tennis Integrity Agency (the new iteration of the former Tennis Integrity Unit), dropped the heavy hammer down.
His playing career is over. To say the least
ITIA hands down 14-year suspension
Maytín has been banned from tennis for 14 years, after admitting “multiple breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program rules”.
He’s also fined $100,000, even if $75,000 of that is suspended.
The offenses in question took place in 2017 and 2018.
Maytín guilty of multiple offences
Maytín, who no doubt was wiped out financially by the extensive medical treatment as he’s based in Miami (despite a successful GoFundMe campaign that raised $40,000), now can’t even coach or attend any “tennis tournament authorized or sanctioned by the governing bodies of tennis.”
There have been some lifetime bans, and some shorter ones. But this one, for all intents and purposes, is pretty much a lifetime ban.
There was no hearing in this particular case, the ITIA said. That may be because the investigators totally had him dead to rights on multiple infractions.
But it’s also likely that he really couldn’t afford the costs of a defence. The disposition mechanism of the case means he cannot appeal it.
It also means that, absent a hearing, the details of the scope of his transgressions may never come to light.
From the relevant sections, Maytín was found guilty of contriving or attempting to contrive the outcome of an event.
Also – he clearly did not report any approaches from people who wanted to do that. And he either “solicited or accepted money, benefit of consideration” with the “intention of negatively influencing a player’s best efforts”.
Maytín’s math doesn’t work
The more concerning aspects of this one include the fact that Maytín’s confessed-to transgressions didn’t occur in some obscure part of the world, in entry-level $15,000 tournaments.
The Venezuelan has been playing at the top Challenger level, and some ATP Tour-level events as well. Many of them have been in the U.S.
But when you crunch the numbers, it stands to reason that he had to have alternate sources of income.
Not that some players don’t manage to travel the world somehow, with help from home or from small sponsors, at that level. Tennis players are enterprising that way.
But Maytín played 26 tournaments during the 2018 season. And his total prize money was … $19,575 US.
The next year, in 2019, he played even more. Maytín’s total earnings of $19,442 US came as he competed in 27 tournaments during the season.
Possibly the first of several fish
One trend we’ve noticed about these cases is that they are a tangled web.
Once one player is suspended, based on the ITIU’s investigation, several more players’ involvements typically come to light in the ensuing months.
Because these things can rarely be accomplished in a vacuum.
So we’ll stay tuned for further developments.
In the meantime, Maytín will have to figure out what to do with his life as he now carries this pretty significant black mark on his resumé.