Tennis Pro Montcourt Dies After AFT Ban Begins

Published Wednesday, July 08, 2009 -

The young 24-year-old professional French tennis player Mathieu Montcourt, has died of natural causes according to reports from the French Tennis Federation's web site.

Montcourt was suspended by the ATP World Tour, the governing body of the men's tennis tour, on Aug. 11 for betting $192 on 36 tennis events between June and September 2005. Montcourt who was born in Paris received the judgement of an eight week ban on his play which was reduced by two weeks by the Court of Arbitration for Sport last May. The time out began yesterday. He was required however to pay the $12,000 fine. He was ranked 119th in the world, having won $81,418 so far this year, earning more than $374,000 since turning professional in 2002. He played his last match in the semifinals of a Challenger Tour clay court event in Rijeka Croatia. During Montcourt's appeal he said he was not aware of the rules governing online gambling.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said that he should have been aware of the rules, yet the court cut his suspension because he had gambled only small amounts and never bet on his own matches. Almost a year ago investigators for the sport of tennis found 45 matches from the past five years needed to be looked at because of "unusual betting patterns." Tennis is one sport that can be easily fixed by players although for the most part no foul play has been discovered. It is a sad day for the world of tennis, this young persons skill will never be witnessed by tennis fans again.

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