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Lopez hits out at betting reports

Madrid: A Spaniard named during allegations of insider betting in men’s tennis has placed the matter in the hands of his lawyers.

World No. 35 Feliciano Lopez said on Tuesday in a statement through his management that “echoes of a news item published by the English press associating me with the supposed rigging of a match” could be the subject of legal action.

Lopez was named in a weekend report by the Sunday Telegraph after he retired during a first-round match in Long Island in August the week before the US Open against Finn Jarkko Nieminen. The newspaper report suggested that the Spaniard’s pullout while trailing a set and 1-0 was of a suspicious nature, an allegation the 22-year-old strongly denies. “As you know, I withdrew due to an injury, which I’m able to evidence at any time.”

The statement on the letterhead of Garrigues Sport and Entertainment distributed during the current Masters Series event added: “I declare that this information ... is absolutely false and lacking any grounds.”

Reports around the men’s game over the past few months have pointed out that matches of several players attracted huge interest and out-of-proportion betting. The reports point to the “transparency” of internet-style, peer-to-peer betting, where odds and the total amount bet are easily seen by all potential punters. (AFP)

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