Fenerbahçe’s Batiste free after detention in Athens
Fenerbahce's US winger Mike Batiste. EPA/Alberto MartinFenerbahçe Ülker’s American center Mike Batiste was released early Dec. 7 after spending the night in custody in Athens due to allegedly unpaid tax.
Batiste was detained late Dec. 6 upon the arrival of the Turkish team to Greece for the Dec. 7 Euroleague basketball match against Panathinaikos. However, the 35-year-old player, who played for Panathinaikos last season, had a reportedly unpaid tax fine worth 200,000 euros. After testifying to prosecutors in the morning, Batiste was released.
“In Greece, just like in Turkey, clubs pay for players’ taxes,” NTV Spor reporter İsmail Şenol announced, adding that Panathinaikos made the required payment.
Batiste later participated in a club training session and was announced fit to play in the Euroleague match.
The Batiste case came weeks after Fenerbahçe Ülker’s Central African guard Romain Sato returned to Istanbul on Oct. 19 after spending the night at the Ljubljana Airport Police Station for holding an allegedly fake passport.
Sato was with the team on Oct. 18 when the Turkish club arrived in Slovenia to face Union Olimpija for a Turkish Airlines Euroleague match.