Nikolay Davydenko, who has denied any wrongdoing in tennis' ongoing betting scandal, on Tuesday described his treatment by the ATP as "idiotic."
Davydenko, ranked fourth in the world, recently won his appeal after he was fined in October for "lack of effort" in a match against Croatian qualifier Marin Cilic at the St. Petersburg Open. The ATP, after reviewing video of the match, rescinded the fine. But he begins the new year with the cloud of an investigation still hanging over his head.
The ATP is seeking telephone records from some of Davydenko's relatives as part of its investigation into allegations of match-fixing and suspicious betting patterns in the sport.
"It's taking months and months. And it may take my whole life. As a tennis player I am patient, it doesn't bother," he said in Doha, Qatar, where on Tuesday he defeated German qualifier Benedikt Dorsch, 6-3, 6-0 in an early-round match at the Qatar Open.
"I provided telephone connection data at the beginning of December and then the ATP wanted data from my wife and brother which we refused. If we allowed that to happen, they would be taking data from my grandmother," Davydenko said, speaking German and using a translator.
"It's a shame that it all started with me and that players like [Potito] Starace get punished as a result," he added, referring to the fact that Starace, an Italian player ranked No. 31, was obliged to withdraw from the Qatar Open this week, having been suspended for six weeks and fined $30,000 for making five bets two years ago totaling about $150. "It's all idiotic. But I want to fight to get my reputation back."
Concerns about match-fixing began in August, when an online betting company reported unusual wagering patterns during a match between Davydenko and Martin Vassallo Arguello of Argentina. The company, Betfair, voided all bets, and the ATP subsequently began its investigation.
I have to disagree with you on both points. First, Pete Rose DID admit to betting on baseball - FINALLY (though he still denies he ever bet on the Reds, but that is another matter). And if you remember, he worked out a deal with Giamatti (sp?) where he AGREED to accept a lifetime ban rather than fight the charges (if he didn't do it, why in the world would he accept the ban?).
As far as the Hingis matter goes, it may be debatable as to whether or not it could be a performance enhancing substance, but regardless, it is on a list of substances BANNED by the WTA, not to mention the fact that it is illegal to possess in Britain, so she broke the WTA rules and the law. You cannot expect her to do that and not receive some punishment for that.
What is sad is that it seems like no sport is untouched by scandal these days. I do think that there is more policing going on because of it and more folks are getting caught, so it seems like there are more scandals, when in reality, this sort of thing has always going on, there is just more sophisticated surveillence available these days. I suppose golf will be next. Boy it seems like Tiger is a lot more buff than he used to be. I just worry that my kids will see all of this and think it's okay to cheat in sports because everybody does it, despite the good sportsmanship I try to teach them.