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ATP brings in British Horseracing Authority in betting probe

8/17/2007 - Tennis

LONDON -- The ATP will use the expertise of British horse
racing authorities when it investigates possible corruption of a
match involving Nikolay Davydenko.

The ATP was alerted to the possibility of a betting scam by
online bookmaker Betfair, which voided bets on Davydenko's
second-round match against Martin Vassallo Arguello on Aug. 2 in
Poland.

"We are committed to a thorough, fair and comprehensive ATP
investigation, and our decision to involve the BHA, as well as
employing independent investigators, is testimony to that
commitment," ATP executive chairman Etienne de Villiers said
Friday.

The fourth-ranked Davydenko had won the first set 6-2, then lost
the second 6-3 to the Argentine and was trailing 2-1 in the third
when he withdrew because of a foot injury.

Betfair reported an usually high number of bets on the match --
mostly on 87th-ranked Arguello to win, even after the first set.

The ATP approached the BHA, which has experience in dealing with
betting scams, and the tennis body said it would also make use of
its account analysis systems.

"It underscores how seriously we regard any suggestion of
corruption in our sport," Etienne de Villiers said. "The BHA team
are industry leaders in this area and their expertise, knowledge
and resources will be invaluable to our investigation."

Davydenko's agent, Eckhard Oehms, said two days after the match
that the Russian was innocent.

"We've got nothing whatsoever to do with that," Oehms said.
"Neither Nikolay nor his coach nor me nor anybody out of our
entourage has been involved in this. This is a matter that is
important to us. We can't have his reputation being tarnished by
things like this."