Cheating charge angers Becker


WIMBLEDON, England -- Controversy is as much a tradition at Wimbledon as strawberries and cream.

And Boris Becker is an old hand at handling it.

"People have accused me of all different kinds of things over the past 10 years, you know," he said yesterday. "Some had grounds, and some didn't. This is just one thing more."

Three-time Wimbledon champion Becker is now accused of cheating.

Becker had just rallied from a 4-2, love-30 deficit in the fifth set to beat Andrei Medvedev, 6-7 (5-7), 7-5, 7-6 (7-3), 6-7 (3-7), 7-5, and move into today's quarterfinals against Christian Bergstrom, but all anyone wanted to talk about was the $1,000 fine he received for getting medical treatment while on a bathroom break during the second change-over of the first set in his match Saturday with Javier Frana.

Becker evidently had his back stretched out by his trainer while on break, which is against the Grand Slam Code of Ethics.

Alan Mills, the Wimbledon tournament referee since 1983, described Becker's actions as "unprecedented," adding it was a "very serious breach."

The fire was fanned when NBC-TV analyst John McEnroe said such a thing was "cheating and Boris should have been thrown out" of Wimbledon.

"The matter is over," Becker said. "I got fined, and that's it."

But Frana, who lost to Becker in that fourth round, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, was not exactly forgiving.

"They love to follow the rules here, but they didn't do it on this one," he said.

Shriver rolling

Pam Shriver and her women's doubles partner Liz Smylie needed just two sets to advance to the quarterfinals yesterday.

Shriver and Smylie defeated Katerina Maleeva and Robin White, 6-3, 6-4.

There were only a couple of unnerving moments when Shriver gave back one break in the first set and another in the second, before regaining the advantage.

"I just didn't have the confidence in my serve, for no good reason," Shriver said. "Some days are like that."

"But in the last game, after I was down love-30, I came back pretty good to close the match."

Shriver described her hamstring as being under control. "I wouldn't be put on the disabled list," she said.

Today will be a day off for Shriver and Smylie and Shriver and her mixed doubles partner, Byron Black.

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