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(Jesus Christ ! next someone will be saying you know someone who knows a policeman!)
Robyn Wuth | March 5th, 2013
Nelson Patea, a known associate of the Bandidos, with Bernard Tomic's old car.
GOLD Coast tennis ace Bernard Tomic has links to a man who loves to party with members of the Bandidos outlaw motorcycle gang.
Weeks after the Australian Crime Commission revealed increasing links between organised crime and professional athletes, the Bulletin can reveal Tomic has ties to the gang's Gold Coast chapter.
Tomic is close friends with Nelson Patea, a known associate of the club.
While the Bulletin is not suggesting Tomic is directly associated with the club, Patea has a relative in the gang and his Facebook profile picture shows him standing beside Bandido national sergeant-at-arms, John Fahey.
Police confirmed Patea was associated with several club members who are also listed as friends on his Facebook profile.
The Facebook page contains pictures of Patea partying inside the clubhouse with members who are in full Bandido colours.
Patea and Tomic communicate through the social networking site and friends have posted pictures of Patea with Tomic's orange BMW before it was sold, and with the yellow Ferrari with SinCity number plates the tennis star was driving earlier this year.
Efforts to contact Tomic yesterday were unsuccessful and his manager Fraser Wright, of IMG, did not respond to calls.
Bandido sources also refused to discuss the association, saying they "did not want to ruin his (Tomic's) career".
The link to the outlaw gang is another chapter for the controversial tennis star, who lost his driver's licence after a series of infringements, before he claimed people were "picking on him".
The connection comes days after Tomic stripped to his underpants while recording a video for YouTube at a tournament in Marseille. Tomic was also seen partying into the small hours at a players' function last week before retiring from his first-round match in the Dubai championships.
The Australian Crime Commission refused to comment on the revelations, but highlighted the danger in its report, Threats to the Integrity of Professional Sport in Australia.
"There are associations between professional athletes and organised-crime groups," the report stated.
"Organised-crime groups will increasingly target professional sports as the sports wagering market continues to grow."