IMG head claims no betting on tennis
LONDON -- The head of management company IMG told tennis' anti-corruption group that he hasn't bet on the sport since current rules barring gambling were enacted nearly two years ago.
IMG executive Ted Forstmann was accused in a lawsuit of gambling millions of dollars on sports events, including the 2007 French Open final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Forstmann has acknowledged betting on Federer, who is represented by an IMG agent.
IMG owns and operates some professional tennis tournaments.
Tennis Integrity Unit spokesman Mark Harrison said Thursday the group contacted Forstmann and "made it clear that since January 2009, he has been covered by the provisions of the game's anti-corruption code."
"Forstmann has confirmed that he understands and accepts this," Harrison wrote in an e-mail, "and advised that he has not gambled on tennis since the Uniform Tennis Anti-Corruption Program came into effect from January 2009."
Federer said Wednesday at the Paris Masters tournament that he contacted Forstmann after learning that Forstmann is being sued in Los Angeles County Superior Court by Agate Printing Inc. for fraud, interference with contract and breach of contract. In the complaint, which seeks extensive damages for lost business Forstmann allegedly promised, Agate Printing executive Jim Agate claims to have served as a conduit for Forstmann's gambling.
Federer denied any involvement in the gambling and said he "reached out to [Forstmann], just to know everything about the" lawsuit.
"I just think that's a bad thing that people who might be closer to the game are betting on our sport," Federer said. "But you can't control, sometimes, what other people do."
The ATP said Thursday that the matter "has been taken very seriously by everyone."
In an e-mailed statement, the men's tennis tour said it "has sent the message very clearly to Mr. Forstmann that we consider his behavior inappropriate and that he will be in violation of the rules if he engages in such activity in the future."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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