Czech tennis chief Ivo Kaderka in custody for fraud charges

A court in Prague announced on Thursday that Ivo Kaderka, the head of the Czech Tennis Federation, has been remanded in custody on fraud charges. The charges relate to the alleged misuse of state subsidies.

Ivo Kaderka, aged 60, has been head of the Czech Tennis Federation (CTS) since 1998 and took over as president of Tennis Europe in 2020. He could face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty. 

"Mr Kaderka is in custody," Iva Kanakova, spokeswoman for the Prague 7 district court, told to AFP. Authorities have charged five individuals and five companies over state subsidies earmarked for CTS. 

Czech Radio reported that the CTS, under Kaderka's leadership, allegedly diverted significant amounts of money to a club and companies run by Vojtech Flegl. The website also quoted a police report describing CTS as a "one-man organisation" controlled by Kaderka.

Vojtech Flegl, a former professional tennis player and a member of the supervisory board of the CTS, was also arrested, while the remaining three people were released. Daniel Vacek, who has won three Grand Slam doubles titles and a total of 25 ATP tournament victories, was among those released. 

Tennis is very popular in the Czech Republic, a nation of 10.8 million people and a member of the European Union that has had great players. Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek led the Czech team to Davies Cup victories in both 2012 and 2013. Petra Kvitova has won Wimbledon twice (2011 and 2014) and Marketa Vondrousova did the same last year.