— -- Match-fixing allegations are rocking the world of professional tennis, and the sport's top men's player said he was approached by people working with him to take part in the scheme.
Novak Djokovic admitted today that people close to him were contacted with a proposal to give him $200,000 to throw a first-round match in Russia in 2007.
Djokovic said he dropped out of the tournament instead.
"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," he said.
Djokovic's statement today, on the opening day of the Australian Open in Melbourne, comes in the wake of a report on allegations of widespread match fixing implicating some of the more competitive players.
Buzzfeed News and the BBC jointly reported on documents they said were leaked from a secret investigation commissioned by professional tennis. The reports point to gambling syndicates in Russia and Sicily that whistle-blowers say repeatedly sought to fix matches and Grand Slam events.
Djokovic called it a crime against sport.
"For me, that's an act of unsportsmanship, a crime in sport, honestly. I don't support it," he said. "I think there is no room for it in any sport, especially in tennis."