October 17, 2014
Russia's team captain Shamil Tarpischev smiles during a news conference prior to the Fed Cup match between Russia and Slovakia in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, April 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)
Mikhail Metzel

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Russian Tennis Federation President Shamil Tarpischev has been fined $25,000 by the WTA Tour and suspended from tour involvement for a year for questioning Serena and Venus Williams' gender in comments on Russian television.

The WTA Tour said Friday 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 for one year. The tour also said Tarpischev owes Venus and Serena Williams a personal apology.

''Mr. Tarpischev's statements questioning their genders tarnish our great game and two of our champions,'' WTA Tour chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster said in a statement. ''His derogatory remarks deserve to be condemned and he will be sanctioned.''

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

''As the president of the Russian Tennis Federation and a member of the International Olympic Committee, 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.''

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