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NBA to investigate new accusations by Donaghy

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NEW YORK (AP)

The NBA will review accusations by former referee Tim Donaghy that were posted online - even though the publisher is blowing the whistle on the book they were to appear in. Random House said on Thursday it won't go forward with the tell-all Donaghy wrote in prison. "After a close legal review of the final manuscript of 'Blowing the Whistle' by Tim Donaghy, and our independent evaluation of some of the author's sources and statements, Triumph Books and Random House have decided not to go forward with the book's publication," spokesman Stuart Applebaum said in a statement. "Our decision is wholly our own and was made without consultation with any outside parties or individuals." Still, the NBA said the allegations that appeared on the Web site deadspin.com will be forwarded to Lawrence B. Pedowitz, who conducted the review of the officiating program following the Donaghy gambling scandal that rocked the league in 2007. "As with all allegations concerning the integrity of our officiating program, these latest assertions by Mr. Donaghy will be turned over to Mr. Pedowitz for a complete review," senior vice president of communications Elizabeth Ventura said. The league also said it has been reassured that the Pedowitz investigation, which was completed last autumn, found Donaghy to be the only official involved in criminal conduct. Donaghy admitted taking cash payoffs from gamblers for picks on games, including ones he officiated. He was sentenced to 15 months for conspiracy to engage in wire fraud and transmitting betting information through interstate commerce.
Donaghy remains behind bars for a probation violation following his 15-month prison sentence. He worked on the book in prison. The excerpts include accusations of wagering between officials working games, favoritism toward star players, and desires by the league to extend playoff series. Donaghy, who already made similar allegations during court proceedings, also criticizes a number of referees, including Dick Bavetta, Tommy Nunez and Steve Javie, of misconduct. The referees say they are disappointed but not surprised by their former colleague's actions. "This continues to be the Tim that we know," referees union spokesman Lloyd Pierson said. "He repeatedly attempts to highlight himself in the media, but the 59 NBA referees will continue to officiate games with the utmost integrity and the focus will remain on the 2009-2010 NBA season."

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