Wed, May 21, 2008 - Page 19 News List

Claims by former referee denounced by the league


A lawyer for the former NBA referee Tim Donaghy suggested in court papers on Monday that games had been influenced by relationships among referees, coaches and players, and that other factors had "prevented games from being played on a level playing field."

The league immediately denounced the charges as unfounded.

According to documents filed by lawyer John Lauro, Donaghy provided law enforcement officials with information about NBA matters outside the government’s original investigation. That included information about the gambling of other referees and an instance in which confidential information was suspected of being passed from a referee to a coach.

Lauro filed a letter and several attachments as part of a sentencing memorandum. Donaghy, who pleaded guilty in August to two felony charges, is to be sentenced on July 14.

Donaghy could face up to 25 years in prison and a US$500,000 fine for receiving payments for inside information on NBA games, including some that he officiated. But he is expected to receive a much lighter sentence because he cooperated with the authorities.

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