Setting Things StraightPublished November 27, 2007 by OCR Editor
Tennis players have not spoken to the ATP or the ITF, yet there is plenty of public talk about allegations into match-fixing on the circuit.
You know something is wrong when one of the top 5 athletes in your sport is suspect of throwing matches. In tennis, the number 4 player in the world, Nikolay Davydenko of Russia, is in such a spot. But while the bets on the game he allegedly threw amounted to millions of dollars, the danger that the world of tennis faces is much greater.
What will it take for tennis to clear its reputation from the match-fixing scandal that hovers over its head like Democles' sword?
So far players have kept quiet over the scandal. Davydenko himself has denied any wrongdoing. About a dozen other players have talked to the media about being approached and offered to lose games on purpose, but none have talked to the Association of Tennis Professionals or the International Tennis Federation before going public.
True, tennis games are easy to throw. It only takes convincing one person - the player. Also true are the ties to online betting, which make it easy to place bets on games anonymously and in large amounts.
But the media and the tennis world should stop short of blaming online betting. The main industry hurt from such a scandal, other than the game itself, of course, is online betting.
Odds and bets are set and placed based on the match-up. If new, outside, even criminal elements factor in, the odds and bets are like shots in the dark. It makes it all worthless, no less.
Hence the double urgency in solving the issue. Tennis cannot enter 2008 with a match fixing scandal over its head. Online betting cannot keep its popularity with matches being fixed. It is time for the tennis world to set things straight.