April 19, 2019 / 4:53 PM / a month ago

Tennis: Brazil's Souza provisionally suspended amid corruption probe

FILE PHOTO: Brazil's Joao Souza plays a shot during his Davis Cup tennis match against Argentina's Leonardo Mayer in Buenos Aires, March 8, 2015. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

(Reuters) - Brazilian Joao Souza has been provisionally suspended for the second time this year amid a corruption investigation, the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) said on Friday.

Souza, ranked 422nd in the world, was initially suspended on March 29 due to alleged breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program but was reinstated this month following a successful appeal.

However, the TIU said the suspension has been reimposed “following consideration of additional evidence”, adding that no more appeals will be accepted.

"The effect of the provisional suspension is that Mr Souza is ineligible to compete in or attend any sanctioned event organized or recognized by the governing bodies of the sport," the TIU said in a statement here

Souza, who turned professional in 2006, has never won an ATP Tour title as he has spent the majority of his career on the Challenger circuit.

The 30-year-old reached his career-high singles ranking of number 69 in 2015.

More tennis players were disciplined for violations of anti-corruption rules in 2018 than in any other year since the creation of the TIU 10 years ago.

Eight lifetime bans were imposed last year, most notably to Italian former world number 49 Daniele Bracciali for match-fixing and facilitating betting.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, eiting by Ed Osmond

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