The French Tennis Federation (FFT) has been under a lot of pressure this year. The organization faced a host of setbacks and obstacles in the run-up to the 2020 French Open. They are currently organizing the 2020 Rolex Paris Masters, featuring a number of the top players in the world.
Now, a major incident has come to light regarding the president of the federation, Bernard Giudicelli.
Giudicelli falsified an Economics degree in his CV
Bernard Giudicelli, apart from being the President of the French Tennis Federation, is also part of the Board of Directors at the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The 62-year-old became Vice President for the organization in the 1990s before being elected to President in 2017.
He has been a part of the board of the ITF since 2015. However, the discrepancy in his CV appeared when he reapplied for the position in 2019.
Reports from L’Equipe, a prominent French daily, claim that Giudicelli altered his educational qualifications in his 2019 application. His 2015 application cites a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Aix-Marseille, graduating in 1980. However, his 2019 application mentions that he received a doctorate in economics from the same university.
If these allegations are confirmed, it could result in multiple code violations for Giudicelli. Apart from being illegal as per French law, falsifying educational qualifications is also against the ethic code of the FFT and ITF. He may face strict penalties – or worse, jail time.
Giudicelli denies claims
The allegations were brought forward by Jacky Terreau, a supporter of Giudicelli’s presidential rival, Gilles Moretton. He revealed the issue to the Ethics Committee of the French Tennis Federation, who will now form an action plan.
When confronted, Giudicelli refuted the allegations, saying that he had received a DESS in Tourism Economics from the university in 1980. A DESS (Diplôme d’études supérieures spécialisées) is a postgraduate degree that used to be awarded in the past in France, equated to a master’s degree.
Currently, no information has come to light that will confirm or refute the allegations, and further investigations will help with the same.