London: German tennis great Boris Becker told a London court on Monday he had not given officials the “runaround” over missing trophies.
Becker was declared bankrupt in 2017 and is on trial accused of failing to hand over assets including nine trophies and medals from a glittering career including six Grand Slam singles titles.
During proceedings at Southwark Crown Court on Monday, prosecutor Rebecca Chalkey asked Becker, 54, if he had given the trustee of bankruptcy “the runaround” in an attempt to conceal the prizes.
She said: “You reportedly claimed that you didn’t know where the missing trophies were. That’s simply not true Mr Becker is it?”
“You gave him the runaround,” she added.
But the former player, who has also worked as a BBC commentator and a brand ambassador for firms including sports equipment and clothing manufacturer Puma, replied “that’s not correct”.
Former world number one Becker, who won 49 singles titles in 77 finals over 16 years, denies 24 charges under the Insolvency Act.
Some of his trophies were auctioned off for £700,000 ($917,000, 836,000 euros) to pay his debts and he has made various appeals to try to locate them, the court heard.
Among the awards he is accused of failing to hand over after he was declared bankrupt are two of his three Wimbledon men’s singles titles, his 1992 Olympic gold medal and Australian Open trophies from 1991 and 1996.
Becker, the youngest men’s singles champion in Wimbledon history when he won the grasscourt title as a 17-year-old in 1985, has a previous conviction for tax evasion and attempted tax evasion in Germany in 2002, the court was told.
It also heard Becker earned a “vast amount” of money, winning about $50 million (£38 million) in prize money and sponsorship deals during his playing career.
But Becker, who went on to coach current tennis star Novak Djokovic, said his earnings “reduced dramatically” following his retirement in 1999.
/ 1 year ago
Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, cum soluta...