MOSCOW, January 18. /TASS/. The Russian Tennis Federation (RTF) has no information that Serbia’s legendary tennis star Novak Djokovic was approached with a match-fixing offer at a tennis tournament in St. Petersburg over eight years ago, RTF President Shamil Tarpishchev told TASS on Monday.
AFP news agency reported earlier in the day citing Djokovic as saying that his team was offered to talk him into losing on purpose one of his matches at the 2007 ATP tournament in St. Petersburg. World’s No. 1 Djokovic stressed that it was his team and not him personally receiving the offer on the fix-up, which he naturally declined.
"Djokovic and other players receive such offers all the time, and recently a regulation was introduced to immediately inform about such cases," Tarpishchev said in an interview with TASS. "But no one definitely approached us [RTF] with such offers. Djokovic was offered, he refused, so what’s next?"
The BBC reported earlier on Monday that over the last decade players, who had been ranked among the world’s top 50, including winners of Grand Slam titles, were involved in match-fixing.
The documents obtained by the BBC "show the enquiry found betting syndicates in Russia, northern Italy and Sicily making hundreds of thousands of pounds betting on matches investigators thought to be fixed. Three of these matches were at Wimbledon."
The investigation examined suspicious betting activity after a game involving Nikolay Davydenko and Martin Vassallo. Both players were cleared of violating any rules but the investigation developed into a much wider enquiry looking into a web of gamblers linked to top-level players, according to the BBC.
The sole tennis players caught in match-fixing by now are Daniel Kollerer from Austria and Alexandros Jakupovic from Greece. The Austrian has become the first tennis player banned for life for attempting to fix matches between October 2009 and July 2010.
In late November 2011, Kollerer applied to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to challenge the decision made by the ATP and the International Tennis Federation (ITF). However, the appeal was rejected in March 2012.
Jakupovic was banned for life in mid-December 2015 on five counts related to match-fixing.
Kollerer ranked 55th in the ATP rating in October 2009 while Jakupovic’s best result was the 464th position in the ATP rating in 2009.