US Davis Cup team coaches Mardy Fish and Bob Bryan have each received $10,000 fines for promoting a gambling operator on social media.
Coaches cooperated throughout investigation
Less than a month ago, two California sports betting initiatives at the polls. Prop 26, which would have expanded tribal gaming, received just 33% of the vote. It outperformed Prop 27’s online sports betting bill, which got less than 18% of voter support.
The two US tennis coaches were fined by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA). The ITIA is a London-based independent organization formed by the international governing bodies of professional tennis.
The ITIA announced the punishments earlier this week. It said Fish and Bryan cooperated throughout the investigation, including promptly removing all gambling-related posts.
Both coaches have California connections, as Fish resides in Los Angeles and Bryan was born in Camarillo.
A serious offense or an innocent mistake?
One of the ITIA’s responsibilities is running the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program, which states people under its jurisdiction may not “directly or indirectly facilitate, encourage and/or promote” betting on tennis. Because Fish and Bryan are a part of the 2022 US team as coaches, they are subject to these rules.
Initially, Fish and Bryan were hit with four-month bans, signifying the severity of their offenses. However, the two’s willingness to comply throughout the investigation and the unintentional nature of their actions led to a softer ruling.
Fish talked to the The Associated Press.
“Bob and I did a DraftKings promo during the US Open that we were unaware we weren’t allowed to do. As soon as we found out, I deleted the posts and cooperated with the ITIA.”
The bans instead became four-month probationary periods, which began on Nov. 11. They are in the clear as long as they have no further incidents during that period. Should anything arise, the ban will come into effect, presumably alongside more (and heftier) fines.
US Tennis Association backs Fish and Bryan
The US Tennis Association issued a statement on the event, standing with its pair of Davis Cup coaches.
“The USTA is aware of the ITIA’s fines of Mardy Fish and Bob Bryan. Both Mardy and Bob have our full support. As was stated by the ITIA, neither was aware that their actions were in any way a violation of protocols, and when they were made aware immediately and fully cooperated with the ITIA throughout the remainder of the process. Mardy and Bob have given so much of their lives to representing and supporting US tennis and we are thankful for their ongoing commitment to growing the game throughout the country.”
Fish has been the US Davis Cup captain since 2019 and was the top-ranked American in the ATP rankings in 2011.
Bryan and his twin brother, Mike, are the most-storied duo of all time. Throughout their career, they won 16 Grand Slam Doubles Titles, one Davis Cup title and one Olympic gold medal.
The US Davis Cup team recently lost to Italy in the quarterfinals.