Czech Tennis Federation embroiled in massive fraud scandal

The Czech Tennis Federation is embroiled in a massive fraud scandal. Ten people have been charged in the wake of Tuesday’s raid on the federation’s headquarters, among them its president Ivo Kaderka.

Ivo Kaderka | Photo: Kristýna Hladíková,  Český rozhlas

Encrypted phone conversations, silent communication via post-it notes and strict measures to prevent information leaks. All this was part of a conspiracy by a group of people around the president of the Czech Tennis Federation who are now accused of fraud involving millions of crowns in state subsidies intended for tennis and youth sports organizations.

According to the police, the key figures in the scam are the head of the federation Ivo Kaderka, its financial director and accountant Hana Baierová and, above all, Vojtěch Flégl, a member of the supervisory board and head of the sports association Orel Jednota Praha-Balkán.

Altogether five individuals and five legal entities have been charged with subsidy fraud and manipulating public tenders, for which they could face up to ten years in prison.

As details emerged of the detentions and charges, the National Sports Agency said it was premature to comment. Eliška Machová is the agency’s spokesperson.

Photo: Pixabay,  Pixabay License

“At this point I can confirm that there is an ongoing investigation. We have been asked to provide information and documents and are cooperating fully with the police in this matter. However in view of the fact that the investigation is ongoing, we are unable to provide any details relating to the case.”

Czech Radio’s investigative reporters warned about the suspicious use of state subsidies in the tennis federation last year, when it found that the federation had sent millions of crowns to the sports association Orel Jednota Praha Balkan controlled by Vojtěch Flégl. Some of the money ended up on the accounts of his companies.

In 2021, the Tennis Federation received nearly CZK 142 million from the National Sports Agency and CZK 42.7 million was transferred by the federation to Flégl's Orel association. A year later, the state subsidy amounted to almost 143.5 million, and Orel Balkan received 35.5 million from the tennis federation.

Flégl's association, which was to finance tennis tournaments with the money, hired private companies to provide individual services, and Czech Radio found that among them were companies owned by Flégl or his wife.

Ondřej Šebek | Photo: Honza Ptáček,  Czech Radio

Czech Radio’s investigative reporters analyzed the accounts of one particular tournament in detail and found that in some cases these companies charged the association money for services that were never delivered or were undertaken by someone else.

Ondřej Šebek, chairman of the National Sports Agency, said he greatly regretted the damage done to the reputation of the Czech Tennis Federation but added that the NSA was not planning to withhold further funds to the association, since it did not want to harm the development of youth sports organizations who are blameless in the matter.

Author: Daniela Lazarová | Source: Český rozhlas
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