Henman issues tennis gambling warning

Tim Henman has issued a warning that betting in tennis could damage the integrity of a game once known as a game for “gentleman”.

Talking to BBC One’s Inside Sport last night, he revealed that although he has not been approached personally, he has heard whispers in the locker-room of fellow players talking about it.

"I personally have never experienced it but, listening to the players talking, it seems it goes on," said Henman.

"We've got to be very careful, very vigilant about it as tennis doesn't want to be associated with that."

ATP chiefs are in the process of investigating the irregular betting patterns seen on the online betting exchange Betfair.com for a Nikolay Davydenko and Martin Vassallo Arguello match.

"All professional sport needs a level playing field in order to maintain its appeal and integrity,” said ATP chairman Etienne de Villiers.

"With regards to the recent match involving Nikolay Davydenko and Martin Vassallo Arguello, we have instigated a full ATP investigation. That said, it is important that we not jump to conclusions, especially when players' reputations could be unfairly tainted."

Davydenko has refuted claims that he ‘threw the match’.

Meanwhile, Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) chief executive Roger Draper believes a problem does exist.

"I think we would be looking at the world through rose-tinted spectacles if we thought it didn't go on," he said.

"I think the way it's going it's becoming as big an issue in sport as doping. So we have to keep our eyes open, our ears to the ground and work with the betting companies rather than just ignore the problem and think it's going to go away. It isn't going to go away."

Betting on tennis is now easier than ever, through such mediums as online betting exchanges, and big money can be made even on the most insignificant of matches.

Editor, Jackpot.co.uk - 2007-09-25 12:12:12

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