Djokovic opens up about $200,000 bribe offer


As allegations of match-fixing cloud the start of the Australian Open, defending champion Novak Djokovic has revealed further details about the $200,000 offer he received to throw a match 10 years ago.

Djokovic made the claim in 2007, a year after he was offered a substantial amount of money to lose a first-round match at a tournament in St Petersburg.

The world number one was quizzed following claims of match-fixing in the sport on Monday,

A joint investigation undertaken by BuzzFeed News and the BBC alleged a core group of 16 players, including a US Open champion and doubles winners at Wimbledon, had repeatedly been reported for losing after suspicious bets were placed against them.

The ATP denied they ignored the warnings of match-fixing.

Asked to further clarify his own experience, Djokovic said: "I was not approached directly. I was approached through people that were working with me at that time, that were with my team.

"Of course, we threw it away right away. It didn't even get to me, the guy that was trying to talk to me, he didn't even get to me directly. There was nothing out of it.

"Unfortunately there were some, in those times, those days, rumours, some talks, some people were going around. They were dealt with. In the last six, seven years, I haven't heard anything similar.

"I personally was never approached directly, so I have nothing more to say about that."

Djokovic, who saw off Hyeon Chung 6-3 6-2 6-4 in the first round at Melbourne Park, added: "It made me feel terrible because I don't want to be anyhow linked to this kind of - you know, somebody may call it an opportunity.

"For me, that's an act of unsportsmanship, a crime in sport honestly. I don't support it. I think there is no room for it in any sport, especially in tennis.

"But, you know, I always have been taught and have been surrounded with people that had nurtured and, you know, respected the sport's values. That's the way I've grown up. Fortunately for me, I didn't need to, you know, get directly involved in these particular situations."