The Biggest Tennis Scandals
Tennis has a reputation for being the cleanest of sports. While supposedly gentlemanly sports like cricket are routinely dragged through the mud after allegations of match fixing, misconduct and drug taking, tennis players remain curiously aloof.
However, while most tennis players seem to be so pre-occupied with training and competing in an endless succession of tournaments that they simply don’t have time to do anything scandalous, some tennis players just can’t resist exploring their dark sides.
Here are just a few of the scandals that have had tennis fans choking on their strawberries and cream in recent years:
Martina Hingis developed the reputation of having a big mouth during her tennis career. The Swiss star not only introduced the world to the in-game grunt-fest that eventually drove one desperate spectator to attempt to silence her permanently, but also frequently insulted and verbally attacked other players in women’s tennis.
However, despite the variety of controversies Hingis embroiled herself in with careless words, it is her nostrils rather than her mouth for which she will be remembered. In 2007, two of Hingis’ urine samples tested positive for cocaine, at Wimbledon. Hingis immediately protested her innocence, claiming that she had no idea how the banned substance had entered her body.
When critics pointed to her nose as being the most likely point of entry, Hingis unsuccessfully attempted to debunk this theory by immediately retiring from tennis.
Nikolay Davydenko has been Russia’s most successful men’s singles player in the past decade, winning 15 singles titles during his career. Davydenko has also done his bit to expose the fact that tennis is as prone to match fixing as any other sports, by becoming embroiled in a match fixing investigation.
In August 2007, Davydenko came up against Martin Vassallo Argüello in a match he was expected to win. All went according to plan as Davydenko won the first set. At that moment a group of unnamed Russians wagered $7 million on Argüello winning the match. Which, as it so happens, is exactly what transpired when Davydenko quit the match in the 3rd set, due to an ‘injury’.
Unfortunately for Davydenko and his partners in crime in the motherland, the bookmaker that was used to place the bets promptly informed the ATP, which launched an investigation into the matter, and the bets were subsequently voided. Authorities later declared the incident the greatest coincidence since the creation of life on earth, and Davydenko somehow got off the hook without facing punishment.
Greg Rusedski prepared the British public for the coming of Andy Murray, by desensitizing them against temper tantrums, bad sportsmanship and daft comments at press conferences. He also tested positive for the banned substance, nandrolone, early in 2004.
Like Hingis, Rusedski appeared baffled by the presence of the banned substance in his bloodstream, and defended himself by claiming that his body had spontaneously produced the substance. Rusedski’s second comment is probably what got him off the hook.
The British player claimed that 40 other players in the top 100 also showed elevated levels of nandrolone. Having implicated a significant portion of the world’s best tennis players as drug cheats, Rusedkski was summarily pardoned by the ATP, thereby preventing the ruination of men’s tennis.
If you liked this post you might also enjoy these: