Plans for shamed tennis ace Boris Becker to carry on working as a TV pundit behind bars have hit the net – after prison chiefs blocked the move.
Telly giant Eurosport wanted the former three-time Wimbledon champ to feature in its coverage of the French Open later this month (May) even though he is banged up in jail. Bosses hoped to set up a studio inside HMP Wandsworth in southwest London from which Boris, 54, could serve up his expertise.
He was jailed for 30 months last week after being found guilty of hiding £2.5million of assets following his bankruptcy. Eurosport chiefs were said to be working with Becker's lawyers in a bid to make it happen.
But the Prison Service has blocked the move, with a spokesman saying: "This will not be allowed."
A source also explained: "Recording video or sound for simultaneous reception outside a prison is prohibited without authorisation.
They added: "Allowing an arrangement like this would be unprecedented."
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Dad-of-four Becker won 49 singles titles including six Grand Slams. Last week, he was sent to HMP Wandsworth for two-and-half-years for fraud, it’s thought he will serve half that and be out in 15 months.
The BBC pundit – who attended the trial with his partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro – was accused of showing “no remorse” after hiding more than £2.5million in cash, shares and property when he was made bankrupt in 2017.
In a three-week trial, the star claimed his £38million tennis earnings had been swallowed up by a divorce and “expensive lifestyle commitments”. After going bankrupt over an unpaid £3million loan in 2017, the court heard he should have declared all assets to independent trustees who would distribute them to his creditors.
However he had almost £1million in a business account which was used as a “piggy bank” for his personal expenses and jurors heard he quickly transferred more than £350,000 to nine recipients.
He also failed to declare a £1million property in his home town of Leimen, Germany, a £700,000 bank loan and more than £600,000 in shares.
Becker could now suffer a double fault, with the German potentially being considered for deportation because he never formally applied for British citizenship. It means the German six-time Grand Slam champion will be classed as a foreign offender, despite having lived in the UK since 2012 and having lifted the Wimbledon title as a 17-year-old in 1985.
Under current laws, foreign criminals who are sentenced to more than 12 months in jail could be kicked out the country because their deportation “is deemed to be conducive to the public good”.
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