Thanks to Pete Finch for Tweeting William Cohan's in-depth look at the lawsuits filed against IMG owner Ted Forstmann. The story has remained off the radar as a TMZ item. But this gets into details which, while still leaving suit-filer James Agate's credibility in some doubt, leaves little question that Forstmann loves to bet, helped put Agate in debt with the IRS and Forstmann was undoubtedly betting on things he shouldn't have been betting on as the IMG leader. Worst of all, he Forstmann is not denying that he ran his bets through Agate, who worked through bookies in Vegas and Costa Rica.
Legal or not, after Forstmann bought IMG, which represents major sports stars, and then kept placing bets through Agate -- often on IMG's clients -- his gambling fairly reeked of poor judgment. The Tennis Integrity Unit has said such betting violates its rules but that Forstmann's betting occurred before its creation; an NCAA spokesperson says Forstmann is not under its jurisdiction "but that the expectation is that those providing services to the NCAA will not wager on sports." While Agate, by all accounts, including his own, seemed to grow increasingly desperate and unstable, Forstmann has come around to the view that he made a mistake; he has since instituted a ban on college-sports gambling at IMG.
There wasn't one before?
As for the explosive charge of betting against Tiger, it still sounds sketchy. Though not sketchy enough to likely offend Woods or any other client learning that the boss could be rooting against you.
Agate also claims Forstmann bet "several times against" Tiger Woods, also an IMG client, to lose to Vijay Singh, another (now former) IMG client and onetime friend of Forstmann's. Forstmann's lawyers said he never would have bet against Woods since IMG represented him and would benefit if Woods won tournaments. Agate's charge "defies logic and common sense," they wrote. (Of course, by betting for Federer in 2007, Forstmann was necessarily betting against IMG client Nadal.)
But how much does IMG really benefit from Tiger winning tournaments?
On a less important note, there was this:
That's when Agate gave a copy of the proposed suit to gossip website TMZ. Forstmann was served the lawsuit, plus a copy of the still-unfiled complaint with the betting records, two days later on a Saturday in the parking lot of Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, near his home in Southampton, N.Y.
A few weeks later, hearing nothing from Forstmann, Agate filed the amended complaint with the betting information. All hell broke loose.