Tennis legend Boris Becker is in trouble with the Insolvency Service for failure to hand over his Grand Slam trophies, including the 1985 Wimbledon silverware, to settle his debt.
The German has been indicted on 28 counts, including failure to comply with the obligation of disclosing information.
According to news agency Press Association, Becker pleaded not guilty to all the charges made by the Insolvency Service, during his appearance at Southwark Crown Court in London on Thursday.
The 52-year-old Becker has been charged with failure to hand over the trophy he won at 1985 Wimbledon – his very first Grand Slam triumph that saw him become the youngest male Wimbledon champion at the age of 17. He has also been accused of ‘hiding’ the 1989 Wimbledon trophy, and the 1991 and 1996 Australian Open trophies.
The winners at tennis Grand Slams don’t take home the original trophies, but are given miniature replicas.
In addition, the PA reported that, ‘Mr Becker is also accused of removing hundreds of thousands of pounds by transferring it to other accounts, including to former wife Barbara Becker, and estranged wife Sharlely “Lilly” Becker.’
Jonathan Chaplan, the defence counsel, was quoted as saying, “He (Mr Becker) is determined to face and contest these charges and restore his reputation in relation to the allegations made against him.”
The trial will reportedly take place in September 2021.
Former World No 1 Becker has won six Grand Slam titles: Wimbledon in 1985, 1986 and 1989, Australian Open in 1991 and 1996 and the US Open in 1989. He also helped West Germany win the Davis Cup in 1988 and 1989 and finished with 45 career titles.
‘Boom boom’ Becker – a nickname he earned for his rocket of a serve– is known to have earned around £50 million in prize money and sponsorships.
After his retirement, he has mainly worked as a tennis pundit for major broadcasters like BBC and Eurosport. Becker also had a successful coaching stint with World No 1 Novak Djokovic.
He was declared bankrupt by the Bankruptcy and Companies Court in London in 2017, for failing to repay debts of millions of pounds.