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Frenchman Lestienne banned after accepting betting charges


(Reuters) - French tennis player Constant Lestienne has been suspended for seven months and fined $10,000 after admitting to charges of betting on 220 matches, the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) said in a statement on Wednesday.

A TIU investigation confirmed that the 24-year-old placed bets on matches through online accounts between February 2012 and June 2015. None of the bets involved matches in which Lestienne, a career-high 164th in the men's singles world rankings, played.

World tennis was rocked in January by allegations that the game's authorities had failed to deal with widespread match-fixing in the sport.

The authorities rejected media reports that 16 players who have been ranked in the top 50 had been repeatedly flagged to the TIU over suspicions they had thrown matches in the past decade.

The TIU was established in 2008 to enforce the sport's zero tolerance policy towards gambling related corruption.

(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

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