Tennis great Andre Agassi does not believe match-fixing was on his radar while he played, he told the Associated Press.
“I worry about that being a problem in any sport, because I think it poses an existential threat to the very fabric of what sports is about,” Agassi said. “I think every sport needs to take that incredibly seriously.”
Agassi is an eight-time Grand Slam title winner and retired from professional competition in 2006.
On Sunday, BBC and BuzzFeed News published reports this weekend that alleged tennis authorities failed in dealing with widespread match-fixing involving more than a dozen players. Some athletes were ranked in the top 50 over the past decade. No players were named in the reports.
Tennis officials have denied deliberately suppressing evidence or failing to investigate allegations of match fixing.
“In 21 years I played professionally, I can say, either based on my naiveté or my focus on trying to be the best in the world, that it never made my radar at any stage in those 21 years,” Agassi told the AP. “So I don't know if I was unreachable, untouchable or just purely in my own world, but it never even made my radar, whatsoever.”
Talk about the match-fixing report has been part of the buzz at the Australian Open. Roger Federer, winner of 17 Grand Slams, called the report pure speculation without any names but welcomed the idea of revealing the guilty parties.
- Christopher Chavez