Tennis player in betting scandal likens new rule to “political terrorism”

Martin Vassallo Arguello, the Argentinean tennis player at the centre of the highest profile corruption case of all recent scandals, has blasted the authorities responsible for bringing in the new ruling for trying to ‘scare’ players and likened it to ‘political terrorism’.

A match from last year between Arguello and world number four Nikolay Davydenko is currently being investigated after suspiscious betting patterns were noticed on the online betting exchange Betfair. The match ended with Davydenko retiring.

The new anti-corruption rules requires players to report their colleagues if they hear or see anything dubious, a situation that Arguello believes has created paranoia amongst players.

"Now there's a new rule in that one has to be constantly policing, and pushing away everyone that gets near you asking you something suspicious, or just how you're doing, or if they say: ‘Martin, how are you? Will you win today?’ For this reason, you have to keep your distance because some people are just trying to get information from you," Arguello, the world number 77, told reporters at the Australian Open.

"I myself have not tried to adapt to the ATP's new rules, to that political terrorism of scaring you.”

Arguello also admitted that he appeared nine times on a list of suspect matches that was released by bookmakers last season – the second highest mention of all players.

"They were all matches that I was winning and then I lose, or matches that I was losing and then won. They say that there is a list of 300 matches, and I could say that there is a list of 20,000 matches," he said.

On the actual tennis front, Arguello lost in the first round of the Australian Open to American Jesse Levine.

Editor, - 2008-01-17 11:12:31

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