Slimmed down Boris Becker reportedly teaching yoga in prison
Former Wimbledon champion trains at Huntercombe prison where he is serving time for hiding assets, German tabloid reports
Boris Becker is reported to have lost weight and won friends in the UK prison where he is serving a sentence related to his 2017 bankruptcy, according to a German newspaper.
The former Wimbledon champion was transferred from Wandsworth prison to Huntercombe prison near Nuffield, Oxfordshire, in May. In April he was jailed for two and a half years for concealing £2.5m of assets to avoid paying money he owed after his bankruptcy.
The tabloid Bild, quoting a source close to Becker, said the 54-year-old had been training regularly in the prison fitness studio and had given up alcohol, which is banned. The source said he had lost about 8kg (1st 3lb).
Becker is also working as an assistant alongside the prison coach for fitness and psychology, drawing on his experience as a former world No 1 tennis champion, Bild reported.
According to the source, Becker is teaching about 45 fellow inmates in fitness, nutrition and crisis management at the prison, which has a sports complex with a climbing wall, an astroturf pitch and a cardiovascular fitness room.
Becker is also said to be instructing other prisoners in a “special type of yoga and meditation”, the source told the paper. “As a sportsman, he knows only too well the highs and lows of victories and defeats. He is sharing his life experience with his fellow prisoners.”
Becker’s position is reportedly connected to a bonus programme run at HMP Huntercombe, a category C – low-security – men’s prison, in which prisoners can earn extra privileges. He was transferred to the prison in mid-May this year and reportedly has his own cell.
Huntercombe is used to detain criminals from abroad, indicating that Becker, who has lived in the UK since 2012, will probably be deported from the UK at the end of his sentence.
HMP Huntercombe’s latest inspection in 2017 found that of 197 men released from the prison, 185 had been deported immediately. Becker, who has a son who lives in the UK, can appeal against a deportation order, but the process is said to be costly and lengthy.
His German lawyer, Christian-Oliver Moser, told Bild: “Our client, Boris Becker, continues to do well under the circumstances and he has constructively integrated himself into daily prison life. He is able to telephone whenever he wants and to communicate with the outside world. Any further details about his prison stay are subject to protected personal privacy laws.”
Becker was jailed by Southwark crown court for five years under the Insolvency Act for hiding assets worth millions of pounds after being made bankrupt in June 2017.
The judge, Deborah Taylor, accused him of showing no contrition, telling him during sentencing: “You have not shown remorse, acceptance of your guilt, and have sought to distance yourself from your offending and your bankruptcy. While I accept your humiliation as part of the proceedings, there has been no humility.” He was told he would serve half the sentence.
He has a previous conviction for tax evasion and attempted tax evasion in Germany in 2002.
Huntercombe prison was originally built as an internment camp. The site opened as a prison after the second world war and was a borstal until 1983. In 2000, it became a prison for male juveniles aged 15-18. In November 2010, it became an adult category C training prison and since March 2012, it has held solely category C foreign national prisoners. It holds about 480 adults.
The Ministry of Defence has been approached for comment.