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Professional tennis players suspended for gambling

The Association of Tennis Professionals has taken action against doubles specialist players Frantisek Cermak and Michal Mertinak, who were suspended this week for betting on tennis matches.

Associated Press reports that neither player wagered on his own matches, and an independent hearing officer found no evidence of any intent to affect the outcome of matches bet upon.

The ATP feels strongly about betting, and recently launched legal actions in Europe against online betting companies with mixed results. Professional tennis has been on heightened alert ever since online betting site Betfair voided all bets on a match involving Nikolay Davydenko last year after identifying suspicious gambling patterns. Five Italians have been suspended and fined for betting on tennis, and other players have come forward to say they were approached by people trying to influence matches.

The ATP said an investigation begun in November found Cermak wagered on matches from September 2006 to February 2007. Mertinak bet on matches in October 2006, the ATP said.

"The ATP's tennis anti-corruption program is clear that gambling on any form of tennis match will not be tolerated," said Gayle David Bradshaw, ATP executive vice president. "The program was introduced to ensure the integrity of our sport, and all connected to the tour have a duty and responsibility to ensure that integrity is upheld."

Source: InfoPowa News

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