Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Montcourt dies at 24
PARIS -- French tennis player Mathieu Montcourt has died. He was 24.
The French tennis federation said on Tuesday that Montcourt had died overnight but that "the causes of his death are not yet known."
"It is with great sadness that the French tennis federation has learned of the sudden death of Mathieu Montcourt," the French tennis federation said. "Mathieu was an enthusiastic young man, passionate, very endearing, and extremely appreciated for his kindness and politeness."
French media earlier reported that Montcourt, ranked 119, was found dead by his girlfriend in the stairwell of his Paris apartment.
In May, Montcourt was handed a five-week ban and fined $12,000 for betting on other matches. That ban took effect Monday.
Montcourt complained during the French Open that the punishment was too harsh, saying that he never bet more than $3 at any time, and never on his own matches -- a fact confirmed by the ATP which oversees the men's Tour.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport said Montcourt had wagered a total of $192 on 36 tennis events in 2005. It reduced his suspension on appeal from eight weeks to five.
The issue of betting in tennis drew increased attention from the sport's governing bodies after an online bookmaker voided all wagers on a 2007 match involving Nikolay Davydenko. About $7 million was bet -- 10 times the usual amount for a similar-level match -- and most of the money backed Davydenko's lower-ranked opponent.
Davydenko was cleared in September after a yearlong investigation.