Sport Tarpischev sanctioned for Williams comments

Tarpischev sanctioned for Williams comments

FILE - In this April 16, 2013 file photo, Russia's team captain Shamil Tarpischev speaks during a news conference prior to the Fed Cup match between Russia and Slovakia in Moscow, Russia. Russian Tennis Federation President Tarpischev has been fined $25,000 by the WTA Tour and suspended from tour involvement for a year for questioning Venus and Serena Williams' gender in comments on Russian television. The WTA Tour said Friday, Oct. 17, 2014, that the $25,000 fine is the maximum allowed under tour rules and that it is seeking Tarpischev's removal as chairman of the Kremlin Cup tournament for one year. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel, File)
FILE – In this April 16, 2013 file photo, Russia’s team captain Shamil Tarpischev speaks during a news conference prior to the Fed Cup match between Russia and Slovakia in Moscow, Russia. Russian Tennis Federation President Tarpischev has been fined $25,000 by the WTA Tour and suspended from tour involvement for a year for questioning Venus and Serena Williams’ gender in comments on Russian television. The WTA Tour said Friday, Oct. 17, 2014, that the $25,000 fine is the maximum allowed under tour rules and that it is seeking Tarpischev’s removal as chairman of the Kremlin Cup tournament for one year. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel, File)

Russian Tennis Federation President Shamil Tarpischev has been suspended from any involvement with the WTA Tour for a year after referring to Venus and Serena Williams as “the Williams brothers” on a Russian television talk show.

WTA Tour chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster said in a statement Friday that Tarpischev would also be fined $25,000, the maximum allowed under WTA rules, and that the tour would also seek his removal as chairman of the Kremlin Cup tournament in Moscow for a year.

Allaster said his remarks were “insulting, demeaning and have absolutely no place in our sport” and that he owed the Williams sisters an apology.

“Mr. Tarpischev’s statements questioning their genders tarnish our great game and two of our champions. His derogatory remarks deserve to be condemned and he will be sanctioned,” Allaster said.

Tarpischev, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee, made the comment about the Williams sisters in a joke during an appearance on a late-night talk show with former Russian tennis star Elena Dementieva.

Dave Haggerty, the president and chairman of the U.S. Tennis Association, also called on Tarpischev to issue a formal apology to the sisters.

“Mr. Tarpischev is expected to conduct himself with the highest degree of integrity and sportsmanship,” Haggerty said in a statement. “Unfortunately, his comments do not embody either of these traits and in fact were reprehensible.”

World No. 1 Serena Williams is an 18-time Grand Slam winner in singles, while her sister Venus has seven singles major titles. Serena Williams will attempt to defend her title at the WTA finals in Singapore starting Monday.

 

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