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LegionArgentina
Jun 2nd, 2008, 02:08 PM
ITF INVESTIGATION: The International Tennis Federation said Sunday there will be an investigation into Japanese player Akiko Morigami's allegation that a national team coach suggested she throw a doubles match at the French Open to help partner Aiko Nakamura's chances of qualifying for the Olympics.

According to media reports in Japan, Morigami said the coach wanted Nakamura freed up so she could compete in another tournament in singles with a chance to improve her ranking. Nakamura is ranked 71st, close to the cutoff for making the Olympics.

Rosters for Beijing will be determined based on rankings of June 9.

Morigami and Nakamura lost their first-round match Friday at Roland Garros to Chan Yung-jan and Chuang Chia-Jung of Taiwan 6-0, 6-1.

"The ITF takes this allegation very seriously and, with the Grand Slams and the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, has zero tolerance for any attempt to influence the outcome of a match," the ITF said in a statement. "It is especially disappointing for the ITF because even the suggestion of impropriety regarding the Olympic tennis event is contrary to the spirit of the Olympic Games."

It wasn't immediately clear whether Morigami identified the coach. French Open referee Stefan Fransson and Grand Slam supervisors will investigate, the ITF said.

AP Sports Writer Steven Wine contributed to this report

LegionArgentina
Jun 2nd, 2008, 02:09 PM
Fresh fears about the integrity of professional tennis surfaced last night as officials at the French Open launched an investigation into allegations over the result of a first-round match in the women's doubles.

Japanese player Akiko Morigami claimed that one of her country's national coaches told her before she partnered her compatriot Aiko Nakamura: 'I hope you lose.'

The Japanese pair duly lost to Yung-Jan Chan and Chia-Jung Chuang, from Taipei, 6-0, 6-1, and Nakamura then left for England, where she will be No 2 seed at the pre-Wimbledon grasscourt tournament beginning at Surbiton tomorrow.

After her defeat, Morigami complained that she had been badly affected by the approach from the coach, who cannot be named while the investigation is undertaken.

'I was shocked and my motivation Officials from the International Tennis Federation, who manage Grand Slam championships, and the Women's Tennis Association are treating the allegation made by Morigami as a potential breach of new rules introduced in a bid to preserve the integrity of the game, which has suffered through claims of matches being stage-managed for the purposes of betting.

There is no suggestion that betting was involved in this latest scandal but last night the ITF confirmed in a statement:

'The ITF take this allegation very seriously and, with the Grand Slams and the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, have zero tolerance for any attempt to influence the outcome of a match. We will defer, for the present time, to the Roland Garros referee and the Grand Slam supervisors, who will investigate this claim.'

Nakamura, currently ranked No 73 in the world, stood to gain tives, Ben Gunn and Jeff Rees, were hired by tennis officials to report on the state of the game after betting companies highlighted concern with gambling patterns on some matches. In all, 73 matches came under investigation. Belgian player Gilles Elseneer said he was offered - and turned down - more than $100,000 to lose a first-round match against Potito Starace, of Italy, at Wimbledon in 2005.

The Gunn-Rees review reported: 'There are strong intelligence indications that some players are vulnerable to corrupt approaches and there are people outside tennis who seek to corrupt those within the sport.'

In February, French Open officials attempted to ban on-line gambling companies from offering bets on the Grand Slam tournament, but last month a Belgian court ruled in favour of the betting companies.

Experimentee
Jun 2nd, 2008, 02:20 PM
This is all a big storm in a teacup. If what the article says is true, "I hope you lose" isn't the same as telling her to lose. They would have lost that match anyway.

Its ridiculous to compare it to the ATP match fixing where players actually make money from betting on their opponents then losing matches.

I am sure its not the first time players have tanked doubles matches to get ready for singles the next week.

RND
Jun 2nd, 2008, 03:15 PM
(Yeah it's big,but 200 threads already. :unsure: )

M.A.S.L.
Jun 2nd, 2008, 06:25 PM
I am sure its not the first time players have tanked doubles matches to get ready for singles the next week.

Yes, I think so. Many times a couple leave the final or semifinal in double tour to compete in Qualys-single of other tour.