MONTPELLIER, France (AP) — Montpellier will not appeal the French handball league's decision to suspend two of its players for six matches for their involvement in an illegal betting scandal.
French Olympic champion Nikola Karabatic and his younger brother Luka received the six-match bans. They are among seven players banned by the league for having "directly or indirectly, placed bets on the result" of a May 12 match in which Montpellier, which had already won the league title, lost 31-28 to struggling Cesson-Rennes.
Montpellier players Issam Tej and Dragan Gajic, Samuel Honrubia, Mladen Bojinovic, Primoz Prost are the other suspended players. They are under formal investigation on charges of fraud and match-fixing but have denied wrongdoing.
Montpellier said in a statement on Wednesday that it will not appeal but Nikola Karabatic, who used to play for Montpellier before joining Aix-en-Provence last week, said he would. "It's a bit of a surprising and far-fetched decision," he told L'Equipe television on Wednesday. "We'll see what happens, but I'm not worried."