London, Dec. 14 (ANI): Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs is at the centre of a betting controversy after winning the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.
Twenty minutes before his award was announced, punters rushed to back him on online gambling exchange Betfair.
The trend triggered speculations that the 36-year-old soccer ace's surprise win may have been leaked.
The Welsh wizard moved from 3-1 outsider to odds-on cert, leaving new Formula One champion and red-hot favourite Jenson Button, 29, trailing in his wake.
The Sun quoted one punter, as saying: "Nobody could bet with that confidence without knowing or without having seen the number of votes cast. I can't accept what happened in that 20 minutes. It smacks of irregular betting."
Another added: "There were no additional factors that should have really changed Giggs's price at all."
But Betfair and BBC denied that there had been a leak.
A Betfair spokesman said: "This was late, unexpected and significant and we are looking into it as a matter of course. But there are no real concerns at this stage."
A senior BBC source said: "Only four people know the identity of the winner beforehand. They remain in a locked room until it is announced. Any suggestion the competition has been compromised is not true."
There is no suggestion Giggs had any knowledge of the leak. (ANI)