Betfair betting on Davydenko match prompts enquiry

Tennis is involved in a gambling investigation after Betfair, the online betting exchange, has refused to settle wagers on a Nikolay Davydenko and Vassallo Arguello match after irregular betting patterns.

Russian Davydenko, who was top seed at the Poland Open in Sopot, pulled out with an injury after trailing 2-6 6-3 2-1 to the Argentine Arguello in the second round of the tournament.

However, after winning the first set with ease, Davydenko’s odds drifted out on Betfair despite facing a player who stands 87th in the tour rankings.

"Despite Davydenko winning the first set 6-2, Vassallo, an inferior player, was still favourite to win on the in-play Betfair market," said one Betfair punter.

When Davydenko pulled out of the match, £3,590,595 worth of bets was shown to have been gambled on Betfair; ten times the usual level for a match of this low-level importance.

“It's not so much the amount that was bet, it's the prices at which they were bet,” said Betfair spokesman Mark Davies.

"Davydenko won the first set but during the course of winning it, his price drifted out not in. That doesn't strike us as a normal betting pattern. We have an understanding with the ATP that we can share information with them so that they can know exactly what bets were taking place and from who, so we'll be liaising with them. We have suspended payouts and we will consider what we can do in order to ensure fairness and transparency."

A spokesman for the ATP tour said: "The ATP takes issues surrounding gambling extremely seriously. We are committed to ensuring our sport remains corruption free and have strict rules in place governing this area.”

"It would be inappropriate for us to comment further on any individual match or on the status of any potential investigation until such time as the process has been completed.”

However, Davydenko pointed out that his withdrawal was because of a genuine injury.

"I had problems with my foot in the first round," said Davydenko, the defending champion at Sopot.

"I must think about other important tournaments. I don't want to aggravate the injury."

Editor, - 2007-08-03 11:07:36

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