WTA suspends Shamil Tarpischev for comments about Williams sisters
The WTA issued a press release on Friday, announcing a fine and suspension for Shamil Tarpishev regarding his comments about the Williams sisters, Serena and Venus.
Here is the full statement from WTA Chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster:
“The statements made by Shamil Tarpischev on Russian television with respect to two of the greatest athletes in the history of women’s tennis are insulting, demeaning and have absolutely no place in our sport. Serena Williams and Venus Williams are champions on and off the court – outstanding human beings, incredible sports women and amazing role models who have done so much to inspire women and girls around the world to achieve their dreams.
The WTA was founded on the principles of equality,opportunity and respect, and Venus and Serena embody all of these attributes. 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.
As a result of his comments, I have ordered Mr. Tarpischev to be fined $25,000, the maximum allowed under WTA rules. In addition, he will be suspended from any involvement with the WTA for one year and we are seeking his removal from his position as Chairman of the Board of the Kremlin Cup for one year. His re-instatement will be dependent on good behaviour. Mr.Tarpischev’s private letter of acknowledgement is a start. However, Mr. Tarpischev owes Venus and Serena Williams a personal apology, as well as other players and tennis fans everywhere, a public apology.”
USTA Chairman and president Dave Haggerty issued a statement as well:
“As the President of the USTA and a member of the Board of Directors of the International Tennis Federation, I call on Shamil Tarpischev to issue a formal apology to Venus and Serena Williams,” said Dave Haggerty, USTA Chairman of the Board and President. “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. Unfortunately, his comments do not embody either of these traits and in fact were reprehensible.”
This post will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.