A question of ethics

By Richard Kent, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: October 24, 2010
CONNECTICUT (BASN) — There is a tennis “scandal” going on.

There is a claim — actually more than a claim — as there is some fact involved that Teddy Forstmann, CEO of IMG, the agency group for Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and a host of others bet on Federer to win the 2007 French Open and on at least one golf tournament in which Tiger Woods was playing.

According to TMZ, they reported on October 13th that a lawsuit was filed L.A. County Superior Court naming Forstmann. The suit was brought by Agate Printing, who claimed that it served as a gambling go-between for Forstmann, who allegedly made millions off the transactions. If this is demonstrated by the middleman who brought the suit and presumably suffered a tax burden for doing such betting, then Forstmann should certainly be penalized and enjoined from ever betting on an event in which an IMG athlete is involved.

But let’s now deal with this on another level. The personal level and perhaps now we have moved from journalism to commentary.

I have met Federer and spoken with him. I have observed him as an ambassador for tennis throughout the world.

I know for a fact that his legacy in tennis is as important to him than any amounts of prize money that he ever wins. I know his agent Tony Godsick as well.

A very grounded and affable man who once played football at that bastion of sports violations, Dartmouth. Not. I have also spent time with Federer’s father Robert.

I am willing to go out on a limb and say that there is no way in the world that Federer or Godsick are involved on any level in the substance of this suit or any wrongdoing.

Since I double as a lawyer and a sports journalist, I am aware of what a litigious society we live in. I was saddened when I read about this lawsuit.

I was saddened when I communicated with Godsick about the suit.

I am not a judge and a jury. I am willling though to put my lawyer hat on and tell the world that this suit will not — I repeat will not — implicate Federer in any wrongdoing and hopefully this blip will have no impact on his legacy as the greatest tennis player of all-time.