LONDON: China’s former world number one doubles star Peng Shuai was banned for six months and fined US$10,000 on Wednesday for attempting to force her doubles partner to withdraw from Wimbledon in 2017, the Tennis Integrity Unit announced.
“Peng Shuai was found to have used coercion and offered the possibility of financial reward in return for her main draw partner agreeing to withdraw from the ladies doubles event at Wimbledon 2017,” the TIU said in a statement.
“Although the offer was refused and Peng Shuai did not subsequently compete at The Championships, it constituted a breach of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP).”
Peng’s attempt to change her doubles partner came after the sign-in deadline.
Peng, 32, was banned for six months, with three suspended, and fined US$10,000, with US$5,000 suspended, on condition that she commits no further breaches of the anti-corruption code.
She will be eligible to play again on November 8 this year.
The Chinese star is currently ranked 20 in doubles and 80 in singles. However, she was the number one ranked doubles player in February 2014 and reached a career-best singles ranking of 14 in August 2011.
Peng has won two WTA singles titles in her career as well as two Grand Slam women’s doubles crowns at Wimbledon in 2013 and Roland Garros in 2014, both alongside Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei.
She hasn’t played since Wimbledon last month where she was knocked out in the first round of the singles before a second round exit in the doubles where she teamed up with Latisha Chan of Taiwan.
The TIU added that Peng’s former coach Bertrand Perret of France has also been banned for three months for his role in the same affair.