Yevgeny Kafelnikov

Russia's Yevgeny Kafelnikov has dismissed any suggestion that he has been involved in match-fixing or any form of gambling in men's tennis. "I think it's all bullshit, is all I can tell you," Kafelnikov said after his first-round defeat by Thomas Enqvist of Sweden in the Madrid Masters. Kafelnikov, the 1999 Australian Open and 1996 French Open champion, was speaking after allegations that some players had thrown matches for financial gain.

The story in Britain's Sunday Telegraph, also reported in Monday's Herald, highlighted a recent match between Kafelnikov and Spain's Fernando Vicente in Lyons, when betting was suspended six hours before the match was due to start. According to the Racing Post, a huge worldwide gamble was made on Vicente, who won 6-2, 6-3. No suggestion has been made of any wrong doing on the part of either player, and the ATP, the governing body of the men's professional tour, went on record recently as saying it was satisfied that both players had given their best.

Kafelnikov said he would consider legal action if he continued to be linked with stories about gambling. "I understood it (the report) says Kafelnikov has been involved in match-fixing in tennis," the Russian said. "You know it just completely tears me apart."

Kafelnikov said: "When I walked into the locker room all the tennis players looked at me like I'm the worst enemy of all time. Back in my own country, where basically people look at me like I'm a role model, now they look at me like I'm the worst enemy."

Vicente also hit out. "I want to repeat once more that I am not involved in this betting stuff," he said. "I beat Kafelnikov. I beat him before as well."