Melbourne, Jan 11 (ANI): Tennis legend John McEnroe, who is in Adelaide to take part in the three-day World Tennis Challenge at Memorial Drive from Tuesday, has criticised the handling of match-fixing claims in the professional game, saying the suspension of Russia's Ekaterina Bychkova does not make sense.
World No.3 and fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova was seemingly frightened into silence about whether she had been approached by match-fixers after Bychkova was banned from the Australian Open for failing to report contact through the official channels.
McEnroe called match fixing a huge concern for tennis, and was bemused Bychkova had been suspended after knocking back an illegal approach, apparently dissuading other players from being equally frank, the AAP reports.
"You can understand why someone like Kuznetsova will be reluctant to talk about it. From what I understand (Bychkova) was approached, said no, and just because she didn't report that, maybe she was afraid, I think that's a legitimate concern, and so then she's suspended," McEnroe said on Monday.
"It's one of these cockamamie rules again that I've been railing against, that doesn't necessarily make a whole lot of sense to me. Certainly that should be followed up so that someone who is actually doing the right thing doesn't get penalised, as opposed to someone who does the wrong thing and gets away with it, potentially," he said.
Instead of encouraging players to keep their silence about such matters, McEnroe said there should be a push for greater openness, which would make it harder for bookmakers to conduct their subtle business.
"I think they'll learn from this as an example to provide some sanctuary for people who would be reluctant to speak about it and try to crack down on the people who actually do it," McEnroe said. (ANI)