Israeli Tennis Star: Players Approached Worldwide with Bribes to Throw Matches

Israel4S Amir Weintraub returns to Belgian Ruben Bemelmans, in the World Group Play-off of the Davis Cup between Belgium and Israel, on September 12, 2013 in Antwerp. AFP PHOTO / BELGA / KRISTOF VAN ACCOM ***BELGIUM OUT*** (Photo credit should read KRISTOF VAN ACCOM/AFP/Getty Images)

The Times of Israel reports: Israel’s No. 2 ranked tennis player said Wednesday that efforts to bribe tennis players to throw matches are pervasive throughout the sport, and that every player — from the lowest-ranked all the way to the highest — has been approached.

In an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 television, Amir Weintraub (pictured), who is currently ranked at No. 222 in the world, said players at his level and below struggle to make a living in the sport, and would not manage financially without sponsors’ assistance, wealthy parents, or other outside help.

By contrast, “what you can earn from throwing a single match, you wouldn’t earn in a year as someone of my ranking,” he said.

Weintraub, 30, who has earned some $440,000 in his career and had a career-high ranking of 161 in 2012, indicated that he had been approached repeatedly early in his career and made clear he had firmly rejected the attempts to bribe him.

“At the beginning, people come to you, week in, week out,” he said, “especially in countries like Russia, wherever.” However, he added, “after a week, two weeks, three weeks, when you say ‘No, no, no,’ they stop.”

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