A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Another sports gambling scandal.

Remember "Wagergate"? Of course you do. Rick Tocchet, Wayne Gretzky, Janet Jones were implicated in a a gambling ring that involved interstate commerce and some other complications. So far, just a state trooper has been found guilty. He turned himself in, admitted to being a part of a gambling ring, and has been sentenced to five years behind bars. Although Gretzky and Tocchet were implicated, neither were active players, and none of the gambling was on hockey anyway. This "ring" was all about football. Mostly college football, and the SuperBowl. Oh sorry. I don't want to get issued a cease and desist. I should say "SUPERBOWL® brand National Football League Championship game". Anyway, these men were betting on football.

Last week, the news emerged about the NBA referee who was gambling on games that he was officiating. This is a HUGE deal. If, as the speculation goes, there are other refs and coaches and players involved in a gambling/point shaving ring, it could be a devastating blow to that sport. Personally, I don't care. I haven't cared about the NBA in almost 20 years. In the past few years, it hasn't done much to enhance its image, and this latest thing could be bigger than any black eye that baseball or football or hockey has ever had.

Now there's a supposed gambling issue in professional tennis. #4 ranked Nikolay Davydenko of Russia was playing #87 ranked Martin Vassallo Arguello of Argentina at the Prokom Open in Poland. A small, unimportant tournament with a very small purse. A gambling house in London detected an abnormal amount of wagers coming in for that match. Ten times the projected amount. Not just that, but the overwhelming majority of the wagers were against Davydenko. The #4 player in the world. Even after Davydenko won the first set 6-2, the bets kept rolling in. Bets saying that Arguello would win.
Davydenko lost the second set (the SI article tells it wrong), and retired from the third set with a "toe injury". The $7M that had been wagered on Arguello was voided when the gambling house noticed the irregularities.

Now the ATP has launched a full-on investigation into the Davydenko camp. The suggestion is that he, or someone in his camp influenced the wagering patterns and behaviours. According to ATP rules:
players and their "support personnel" can't bet on any amateur or professional tennis matches. They also are not allowed to, "directly or indirectly, solicit, induce, entice, persuade, encourage or facilitate any other person to wager on the outcome or any other aspect of any event."

It's a very minor tournament. Why were so many people wagering so much money on the extreme underdog? Did Davydenko know that he would have to retire? Did he encourage people to wager against him?

Two other times in recent history, the ATP has investigated possible gambling scandals under similar circumstances, but no wrongdoing was ever found.

If this turns out to be a case of wrongdoing, will it ruin tennis? No.

However, it's good to know that this summer when baseball players are all 'roided up, when a star football player is engaged in dogfighting, when an NBA referee was gambling on games that he worked, the NHL's biggest issue is Eric Staal's buddies getting a little rowdy at his bachelor party.

Speaking of which, Staalsy's wedding was this past Saturday. We don't know yet whether or not John Law had to bust up the reception.

Congratulations to Eric. Also, congratulations to CrAdams on his new baby. And to newcomer Jeffrey Hamilton on his new baby.


Anonymous said...
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Ryan Yatol said...
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Anonymous said...

With the trades and acquisitions made going into the draft, plus the bulk of the team that is carried over from last season, and the trades and draft picks made during the draft, it sure seems like the Pats are going to be the team to beat in the AFC this season, and perhaps in all of the NFL.

Considering the Pats were almost in the Superbowl last season with a pathetic receiving corps and that they've added very talented players into said receiving corps this season, barring some nasty injury(ies), they look to be the team to take it all.I say injury(ies) because I think they could survive an injury or two to some positions, but if they lost Brady they'd probably have a hard time recovering.

I wish I could say that the Redskins did well in the draft and/or in free agency but so many holes still exist that I'm not sure they'll be significantly better than last season. I suppose on face they should be if they can keep their corners healthy. With Landry (argh, hard to type that name as a Redskin!!) back there with a healthy secondary they might be able to cheat up more and put more pressure on opposing QBs. Might.

They still have what should be a lot of talent in the receiving positions, and Campbell should be better, but they don't have the quality on either line (offense or defense) that I wish they'd have, so it could be yet another year of .500 at best, or worse.

Still, the NFC East looks to be the NFC Least again this season. None of the teams there look like they'll be that good, and none really look ready to step up and take the division.

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