The Italian Tennis Federation (FIT) has banned Daniele Bracciali and Potito Starace for life for match-fixing.

The federation performed its own investigation after a probe by judicial authorities in Cremona that used intercepted phone and internet conversations to show that the players fixed matches.

The players are accused of corruption having fixed matches for financial gain.

Bracciali, 37, was also handed a 40,000 euro ($43,473) fine while Starace, 34, was penalised 20,000 euros.

The two players face charges of criminal association.

Although the FIT tribunal decided to ban the pair, federation president Angelo Binagi told the AFP news agency that he hoped they would nonetheless one day prove their innocence.

"We can only hope that Bracciali and Starace manage to demonstrate that they haven't committed these serious acts that the tribunal has convicted them of," he said.

In a 2007 conversation between Bracciali and an accountant who was arrested in 2011, Bracciali allegedly discussed fixing a match in Newport, Rhode Island.

In 2011, an owner of a betting parlour later arrested was allegedly heard saying Starace agreed to sell the result of a final in Casablanca.

While acknowledging that the duo represented Italy "with passion" in Davis Cup for many years, Binaghi said the federation may sue the players for damages if they're convicted.

Daniele Bracciali allegedly discussed fixing a match in Newport, Rhode Island [AP]

Source: Agencies