Safin, Kafelnikov admit link to alleged mobster [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Safin, Kafelnikov admit link to alleged mobster

Goonergal
08-02-2002, 10:43 AM
Safin, Kafelnikov admit link to alleged mobster

TORONTO (Reuters) - Russian tennis players Marat Safin and Yevgeny Kafelnikov have both admitted to links with Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, but distanced themselves from the alleged mobster charged with fixing figure skating results at the Winter Olympics.

Kafelnikov, who crashed out in the third round of the Canada Tennis Masters to Guillermo Canas of Argentina, said after his defeat that Tokhtakhounov was a "good friend" but would not elaborate on their relationship.

"He is a good friend of mine but I'd rather talk about tennis," said fifth seed Kafelnikov. "I wasn't distracted (by the news).

"You know whatever happens there...I'm sure it's some kind of mistake."

U.S. federal prosecutors in New York said they had charged Uzbek-born Tokhtakhounov, 53, over an alleged plan to fix the pairs and ice dance competitions at February's Salt Lake City Games on behalf of French and Russian competitors.

Italian police, who arrested Tokhtakhounov at his seaside home, bluntly described him as "a senior member of a money-laundering group comprising of mostly non-Italians".

Safin, the second seed in Toronto, also admitted to knowing Tokhtakhounov following his third-round victory over Chilean Marcelo Rios.

Questioned if he knew him, Safin replied: "Yeah". But he was evasive when asked if the alleged mobster was his manager.

"I don't mean to be rude but you will not understand, it is not our problem," said Safin. "I don't think it would be nice to talk about this today."

the cat
08-02-2002, 11:31 AM
OMG! :eek: You don't think the 2000 U.S. Open was fixed, do you? ;)

Mags
08-02-2002, 12:23 PM
...and as for the Australian 2002 final. Hands up who had money on Marat to win that one:drool:

TheBoiledEgg
08-02-2002, 12:56 PM
:rolleyes:

Bubble
08-02-2002, 01:48 PM
After reading this article, I went to yahoo news to read more about the figure skating scandal.
Below is the photo of the man Alimzan Tokhtakhounov.

http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20020801/capt.1028210449.italy_olympics_arrest_mes102.jpg

Strangely enough, I found his face looked very familar as I remember seeing him somewhere in Marat's website.

True enough, I found another photo of this man.
you can go to http://www.maratsafin.com/photos_friends.htm
and see the last photo on the right row and it is the same guy pictured sitting next to Yevgeny in a group photo comprising Marat and Andrei Medvedev all dressed in black. :eek:

What a small world.... Of course I'm sure that Marat and YK has nothing to do with this case other than being friends with this man.

ys
08-02-2002, 02:02 PM
Italian police, who arrested Tokhtakhounov at his seaside home, bluntly described him as "a senior member of a money-laundering group comprising of mostly non-Italians".

That's actually sueable. Either they (police) have a proof that the guy is involved in this kind of ( illegal ) business, they prosecute him for that and then they have a right to make this kind of statements. Or this all is just a bullshit.

the cat
08-02-2002, 02:55 PM
Something is amiss y_s. Something doesn't ad up! :confused:

ys
08-02-2002, 03:24 PM
something what?

the cat
08-02-2002, 03:50 PM
Are they going to take the Gold medals from the Russian Pairs team and the French Ice Dancing team?

And is this the beginning of the end of Russian sports as we know it?

TennisHack
08-02-2002, 04:47 PM
First of all, I'm sure Jenya & Marat had nothing to do with the skating scandal (which was bordering on ridiculous and now has gone completely off the deep end). Who knows who all they came in contact with while the country was still Communist, and afterwards when the country was rife with corruption. The sports programs were under scrutiny for a long time under the Communist system.

But if they were in some sort of trouble I'm pretty sure we'd know about it.

Chloe le Bopper
08-02-2002, 04:51 PM
So they know him, who cares..

It would make sense that a guy like him would know some of the richest athletes in his country wouldn't it?

It doesn't mean anything for Kafel and Safin, so who gives a whoop.

Static
08-02-2002, 08:59 PM
I thought there was a difference between racquets and skates? :rolleyes:

ys
08-02-2002, 09:21 PM
And is this the beginning of the end of Russian sports as we know it?

No, the cat, it is the end of the world. Didn't you know that that guy headed the Russian mob group running illegal import of cat furs into USA? They might be after you too.. Beware..

Sonic
08-03-2002, 02:08 PM
Lmao

Nimi
08-04-2002, 12:24 PM
Originally posted by y_s


No, the cat, it is the end of the world. Didn't you know that that guy headed the Russian mob group running illegal import of cat furs into USA? They might be after you too.. Beware..

lmao :)

Athena
08-04-2002, 08:39 PM
Rebecca,
You are right, it doesn't mean nothing !!

For the ice skating did you know guys that the russian referee didn't even vote for the french team :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: and they had the gold medal. Maybe Anissina knows him so....


:fiery: :angel: :fiery:

TennisHack
08-07-2002, 01:52 AM
From the New York Times

Russian Tennis Stars Asked About Man in Skating Scandal
By SELENA ROBERTS

CINCINNATI, Aug. 5 ? Initially, men's tennis officials noted last week's arrest of a man believed to be linked to Russian organized crime as distant observers. Then a 1999 photo surfaced that showed Marat Safin and Yevgeny Kafelnikov cozying up to the man known as the Little Taiwanese in the underworld.

Soon, officials learned that Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, who was accused in a criminal complaint of trying to rig the outcome of pairs figure skating and ice dancing at the Salt Lake Winter Games, had links to their sport that went beyond the snapshot that quickly vanished from the Web site of Andrei Medvedev, a retired Ukrainian tennis star.

Tokhtakhounov also has ties to the Russian Tennis Federation and once received a Mercedes-Benz as a gift from Medvedev. Concerned for the integrity of tennis, officials contacted authorities last week for information about the investigation. Today they approached Safin and Kafelnikov at the Tennis Masters Series event here to inquire about their relationships with Tokhtakhounov.

"I don't have any reason to believe ? at least for Marat and Yevgeny, who we have spoken to briefly here ? that they have developed a particularly close relationship with him," said Mark Miles, the chief executive of the men's tour.

Miles said that neither the information the tour received from authorities, nor the discussions tennis officials have had with both players, lead them to believe their players have any link to organized crime, but that they would continue to monitor developments in the investigation.

"So far, everything we've learned is reassuring," Miles said. "I believe that the authorities appreciate the interests of this sport, and I think they'd want to give us some heads-up if there was a reason for us to be concerned."

The tour's rule book has strict guidelines governing player behavior. Players are forbidden from giving, soliciting or accepting anything of value that could manipulate the outcome of an event. There is also a conduct code that is in a grayer area, concerning any action by a player that would be contrary to the integrity of the game. Also, in the ethics section, there is a rule that prohibits players, coaches or immediate family from making wagers on tennis.

Tokhtakhounov reportedly has legal business interests in casinos across Russia.

"Obviously, an acquaintance with someone ? who may or may not be desirable ? is not in violation of the rules," Miles said. "Behavior that affects the integrity of the game does. I suppose it's not a black-and-white line, but I haven't seen anything in this case which indicates that line has been crossed."

Safin, a rising star from Russia, and Kafelnikov, its aging legend, have acknowledged knowing Tokhtakhounov, but neither has publicly elaborated on the details. Today Kafelnikov did offer his first defense of the man accused of fixing the figure skating results. Like many other Russian athletes who think of Tokhtakhounov as a sports philanthropist, Kafelnikov finds the timing of the arrest very curious.

"All I'm saying is, if he had anything to do with it, why this kind of stuff wouldn't come up in the first place, right after the event?" Kafelnikov said after losing his first-round match. "It's like Russians are seen as terrible, but it's not that way at all. Russia is a proud country, with a great history."