Atalanta say not linked to alleged betting scam

20 December 2011 04:46

The coach of Serie A side Atalanta, Stefano Colantuono, on Tuesday said the club was not in any way implicated in an alleged betting scam as police moved to question their suspended former skipper Cristiano Doni.

"We have done nothing. What we achieved (promotion last season as champions of Serie B) we won on our own merits," Colantuono told a news conference.

"We won the championship by a large distance," he added of a side which has consolidated its position in lower mid table of the top flight.

Doni, 38, has already been suspended for three-and-a-half years by the Italian Football Federations disciplinary committee while Atalanta were handed a six-point penalty.

Doni insists he is innocent of involvement in a "last bets" scandal, five years on from another match-fixing scandal dubbed Calciopoli which saw Juventus relegated and four other clubs handed points penalties.

Those involved in the "Last bet" skulduggery are alleged to have contacted players to buy at least three Atalanta games last season to help rig bets for a network based in Singapore but stretching as far as Eastern Europe.

The affair was front page news in the Gazzetta dello sport, which headlined "And they carried on cheating."

State prosecutor Roberto Di Martino heading up the investigation said he believes that what has been uncovered so far is "just the beginning."

"This page does no honour to Italian sport," sighed the chairman of the Italian Olympic Committee (Coni), Gianni Petrucci, who said the latest allegations "have shocked our world."

"We are all perturbed - but our leagues also must be. La Lega (the Italian league authority) met yesterday but nothing was said about what has happened. They only spoke about the carving up of the money."

Source: AFP