Federer backs bans for tennis gamblers

Updated: 12 November 2007 17:46 IST

World number one Roger Federer on Saturday called for bans against players who bet on games as a way to end the match-fixing controversy clouding tennis.

Federer backs bans for tennis gamblers

Shanghai:

World number one Roger Federer on Saturday called for bans against players who bet on games as a way to end the match-fixing controversy clouding tennis.

Federer said officials should come down "very hard" on gambling after an annus horribilis for tennis, which has been rocked by betting, drugs and even poison scandals.

"I've never been approached, I've never been on a (gamling) website and I'm happy to stay that way," he said ahead of the Masters Cup showpiece in Shanghai.

"You can bet on other stuff, there's a lot of other things you can do. But if you bet on tennis as a tennis guy, that's not right.

"People should be fined or banned for a while, how long is up to other people to decide but we should be very hard on these people."

The 26-year-old Swiss insisted the top player were clean despite an investigaton into world number four Nikolay Davydenko over suspicious betting patterns relating to a match he played in August.

"At the very top of the game we don't have any problems at all," Federer said. It's more with the lower-ranked players who have the temptation.

"With the Davydenko issue, we don't know what's going on here yet, but once that's cleared we definitely don't have any of the top guys involved."

The mach-fixing furore is one of number of controversies besmirching tennis's squeak-clean image, along with Martina Hingis's revelation that she tested positive for cocaine and Tommy Haas's accusations of poisoning during a Davis Cup tie.

But Federer backed the sport to bounce back next season after a difficult 2007.

"I hope better times will arrive for tennis. I always believe if you're stuck in a hole and may be things aren't going well you will come out stronger. Everything in life is this way," he said.

The 12-time Grand Slam winner is seeded first for the elite, season-ending Master Cup which features the top eight players and starts on Sunday.

Topics : Tennis David Ferrer Novak Djokovic Bernard Tomic Rafael Nadal Andy Murray Stanislas Wawrinka Roger Federer
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