The ATP has announced that it is investigating the high-profile domestic violence allegations against the former girlfriend of Olympic tennis champion Alexander Zverev.
Last October, the former junior player Olga Sharypova publicly accused number four of a series of serious attacks, which he flatly denied.
An interview with Sharypova published in the American online magazine Slate in August contained new allegations, including that Zverev hit Sharypova in her hotel room during the Shanghai Masters in October 2019 and, in desperation, injected herself with insulin for the second time.
Zverev continues to deny all allegations and has now taken legal action, a path that Sharypova did not take.
The ATP has been heavily criticized for lack of action, but the organization has now announced an investigation into Sharypova’s allegations regarding Shanghai, an ATP member tournament. “
CEO Massimo Calvelli said: “The allegations against Alexander Zverev are grave and we have a responsibility to address them. We hope that our investigation will enable us to establish the facts and determine appropriate follow-up action.
“We know that Zverev welcomes our investigation and acknowledges that he has rejected all allegations. We will also monitor further legal developments following Zverev’s preliminary injunction before the German courts. “
In the meantime, an independent protection report, which was commissioned by the ATP at the beginning of the season, has been completed.
The report was produced by a team led by Chris Smart, the former Detective Chief Inspector of the Metropolitan Police, and it makes a number of recommendations.
The statement went on to say: “ATP will now evaluate the recommendations to identify immediate next steps and develop a longer-term protection strategy in relation to all matters of abuse, including domestic violence.”
Calvelli added, “As an organization, we recognize the need to do more to ensure that everyone involved in professional tennis feels safe and secure.
“The recommendations in the security report will help us tackle this soundly. We are committed to taking significant steps forward and know that this will not be an overnight process. “
Zverev later said he welcomed an independent investigation.
“I have always fully supported the creation of an ATP policy on domestic violence,” he wrote on Twitter.
“I also welcome the ATP investigation into this matter and have been calling on the ATP for months to open an independent investigation.
“As mentioned earlier, I categorically and unequivocally deny each of these allegations.”
Zverev is not the only current ATP player to face allegations of domestic violence.
Nikoloz Basilashvili, 36th, is the subject of a lawsuit in his native Georgia over claims by his ex-wife, while 21-year-old Brazilian Thiago Seyboth Wild’s former partner was tried last week for domestic violence.
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