I stand corrected. I had simply forgotten about this Kafelnikov story, although I don't remember it getting that much publicity then (no social media or Tennis Channel makes a difference). I do recall thinking that his retirement seemed somewhat abrupt considering that he was still in the top 10 until late 2002. However, his results had noticeably slipped during that season and even more so in 2003. Maybe the betting suspicion was enough to delay his HoF induction, but I'd bet more on Kafelnikov's overall standing with the media and his infamous losing streak prior to capturing the #1 ranking as overarching factors.No, he was. He lost to Fernando Vincente in Lyon in late 2003 shortly before he retired, and there was gossip about it immediately afterwards (e.g. this Guardian article from October 2003). Rumours re-emerged last year? This year? EDIT: Here's a Stuff.co.nz article from 2018 describing the investigation in greater depth.
Not saying they're true or not. I could put forward a perfectly strong case which exhonerates the Russian, and I strongly believe he should have been in the HoF a long time ago. But the accusations against Kafelnikov do exist.