Novak Djokovic has added more fuel to the tennis match-fixing scandal fire. The world’s No. 1 player told reporters in Melbourne that he was approached to fix a match early in his career.
Djokovic had the following to say about the incident:
"“I was not approached directly. I was approached through people that were working with me at the time. “Of course, we threw it away right away. It didn’t even get to me, the guy that was trying to talk to me, didn’t even get to me directly. There was nothing out of it.”"
Djokovic claims he was offered $200,000 to throw the match.
While the Australian Open has just gotten underway, the tennis world is reeling from an extensive exposé on BuzzFeed and the BBC that reported a massive culture of match-fixing in the sport.
The report claims a main group of 16 players fixed matches for years without facing any sanctions from the sport’s governing bodies. Matches at major tournaments, including Wimbledon have been fixed according to the investigation.
Djokovic ripped anyone who would fix a match:
"“It (approach) made me feel terrible because I don’t want to be anyhow linked to this kind of thing. “Somebody may call it an opportunity. For me, that’s an act of unsportsmanship, a crime in sport, honestly I don’t support it. “There is no room for it in any sport, especially in tennis. “I always have been taught and have been surrounded with people that had nurtured and respected the sport’s values. That’s the way I’ve grown up.”"
The fact that Djokovic is speaking out is great for tennis. If the top players come out against this kind of thing and support the rooting out of match-fixers, then something might eventually be done about it.