James Blake, tournament director of the Miami Open tennis tournament owned by international sports and entertainment giant IMG, has been fined for violating tennis rules around betting sponsorship.

Tennis rules bar athletes from having commercial relationships with gambling companies, which is the rule Blake broke according to an announcement by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA).

The ITIA has said that the violation was unintentional, and Blake "cooperated fully with the investigation and did not contest the charge" of $56,250.

However, if Blake breaks the betting sponsorship rules again during an 18-month probationary period that began on February 9, he would be subject to an 18-month suspension and an additional fine of $131,250.

ITIA chief executive Karen Moorhouse said: "This case is more a matter of perception, rather than corruption. The rules apply to players, coaches, officials, and accredited tournament staff, who all have the ability to influence results or have access to inside information."

Blake, who has been the tournament director of the Miami Open since 2018, retired as a player in 2013 after winning 10 singles titles. He also attended Harvard before becoming a professional tennis player in 1999.

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The Miami Open will be held next month, starting on March 17 and ending on March 31 at the Hard Rock Stadium.

The Miami Open secured a record number of sponsors for the 2023 event, attracting new partners such as Stella Artois, Seabourn, Subway, Hilton Head Island, Brightline, Ready, Botran, Col Bleu, and We Can Do This, the national initiative by the US Department of Health and Human Services to promote Covid-19 vaccines.

Meanwhile, Protective Life Corporation, Itaú, Lacoste, Emirates, Cadillac, Dunlop, Betway, Hologic, and Pommery Champagne have been announced as returning partners for this year’s event.