Tursunov Muses About Tennis Scandals of 2007

Mike Bulgakov

Tursunov has a pretty intelligent take on the tennis "scandals" of 2007 IMO.

Dmitry Tursunov recently discussed the sport's scandals:
Last Updated 12:27 am PST Friday, November 30, 2007

On match-fixing: "The few times I've talked to the press (about it), they've brought up cases that never existed: (Novak) Djokovic and (Fabrice) Santoro. Quite a few articles have been generated by the press to get juicy details. There might have been a problem, but now it's exaggerated by the press.

"I've received a couple offers (to throw matches). I've been asked about it quite a few times, and the articles came out quite differently. The offers were on the phone; I don't know who called. One was at Indian Wells last year and the other during the (European) indoor season in the second half of the year.

"(The callers) were very cautious. They said, 'Would you like to make some money?' They were polite. There were no threats. After I said no a couple times, there was no reason to contact me."

On recreational drugs: "If Martina Hingis did test positive (for cocaine), it's not such a huge thing. Athletes are not the only people who make such decisions. At the end of the day, each person makes his own decisions. She's the one who pays the biggest price."

On performance-enhancing drugs: "It's hard to say (how prevalent they are in tennis). If it's treated as a severe issue, it's probably better that way. It's natural for people to try to cheat."

On betting: "I know a lot of (players) who have betting accounts on other sports but nobody in particular (who bets on tennis). The majority of the population bets on something – horse racing, cockroach racing. It's natural."

On poisoning: "That's ridiculous. (Tommy Haas) didn't seem too sick. We flew together (afterward) to Bangkok. He was not under intensive care like some reports indicated. Any conspiracy theory that comes up will be published. At least he gave us an idea how to deal with the U.S. team."

On his lifestyle: "I don't bet, take drugs, drink, smoke or inhale. I'm a good boy that way. I speed a lot. I don't think that's forbidden yet by the ATP."

On the turbulent period: "It's not going to kill the sport. It might be a distraction, but I'm confident the game will get through it."

On Marat Safin: "Safin...Marat Safin...didn't he retire? He likes to dress as a woman and frequent Moscow clubs these days. Are you sure he still plays tennis?"

On kissing Igor Anreev: "It wasn't a kiss. Igor passed a secret message to me from President Putin. It was about congratulating Shamil Tarpischev (the Russian Davis Cup coach). I am happy there were no photographs of me passing the message to Shamil."

– Paul Bauman
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