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Page last updated at 20:58 GMT, Monday, 2 June 2008 21:58 UK

Japan player denies 'fixing' game

Akiko Morigami
French organisers are to probe Morigami's comments

Akiko Morigami says she was not given instructions from a coach to throw a doubles match at the French Open.

She had been reported in Japanese media as saying a national team coach asked her to lose to help partner Aiko Nakamura's Olympic qualification hopes.

By losing, Nakamura would have been free to play a tournament this week.

"My comments were misunderstood," said Morigami in a statement released by the WTA. "I never claimed that the coach asked me to throw the match."

Morigami added: "We tried our best to win the match but we played a tough team and weren't able to beat them."

Morigami first made her comments after a 6-0 6-1 first-round defeat by Taiwan's Chan Yung-jan and Chuang Chia-jung in Paris last Friday.

"It wasn't Nakamura's coach who said it," Morigami was quoted as saying by Japanese media. "It was a different coach. I was angry because it's not something you say to a player before a match."

French Open organisers said on Monday they would continue to investigate the comments while officials in Japan said they would launch a probe of their own.

"At this stage, we are not really clear on who said what, but we will investigate the incident," said Japan Tennis Association managing director Koji Watanabe.

"If it turns out a national coach did say that then it's a matter for the (JTA's) technical committee. It would be dangerous to make any decision before we have established the facts."

Japan's number three Nakamura, ranked 71 in the world, still has an outside chance of making the Olympic squad, which will be selected via the world rankings published on 9 June.




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