After months of delays and complaints from players and tennis officials, the men’s professional tennis tour announced on Monday that it would investigate Alexander Zverev following allegations of domestic abuse by an ex-girlfriend.
Germany’s rising star, 24-year-old Zverev, who finished fourth in the world in men’s singles, has strongly denied allegations that he was violent during several physical altercations with Olya Sharipova, and did so again in a statement on Monday. did. Sharipova, a Russian citizen, has not filed any criminal charges over the incidents which, she said, took place in 2019. The two began dating when they were teenagers, but the relationship ended more than a year ago.
Ahead of the US Open, Zverev sought an injunction in court in Germany to prevent further reporting on the allegations by Slate, which published a long article On Them by Ben Rothenberg, a freelance tennis writer who occasionally writes for The New York Times. The court granted the injunction, and Zverev points to this as confirmation of his innocence.
While the court downplayed it, it agreed with his argument that the evidence presented in the article was not sufficient to justify the effect on him under German law. The decision stated that such an article should have sufficient balance so that it would not leave the presumption that Zverev was guilty of the acts that Sharipova alleged.
Several players have said that the ATP needs to directly address Zverev’s situation and change its policies regarding allegations of domestic violence.
In his statement on Monday, Zverev said: “I have always been in full support of the formulation of the ATP domestic violence policy. In addition, I welcome the ATP investigation into this matter and ask the ATP to launch an independent investigation over the months.” I am
Andy Murray, a former world No. 1, has complained several times this year about how he felt the ATP was dragging its feet on the issue, long after several North American sports leagues refused to allow players to be victims of domestic violence. changed its policies. charges of suspension
“Obviously this was something that needed to change how certain situations were handled, I think, this year,” Murray said after the ATP considered changing its policy. “I really didn’t feel like there was really a kind of stance on this game.”
On Monday, the ATP said it fully condemned any form of violence or abuse and would investigate such allegations relating to conduct at ATP member tournaments.
ATP chief executive Massimo Calveli described the allegations against Zverev as “serious”.
“We have a responsibility to address them,” Calvelli said in a statement. “We hope that our investigation will allow us to establish the facts and determine the appropriate follow-up action.”
The ATP announced in August that an independent panel would review and make recommendations for changes to its policies regarding the conduct of players, including players who are the subject of allegations of abuse.
Zverev has suggested that he cooperate with an investigation, but it is unclear in what form. The ATP has so far no clear rules for investigating and taking action against players who are the subject of domestic abuse allegations before the cases are decided in a court of law.
Sharipova has said that she has no intention of filing charges or lawsuits against Zverev for the dispute, which allegedly took place in the United States, China and Switzerland, while Zverev was competing.
Zverev is scheduled to play at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California this week and plans to play in the ATP Tour Finals in Italy next month.
Since the allegations, Zverev has parted ways with his agents at Team8, an agency founded by Roger Federer and his agent Tony Godsik, although he did participate in Federer’s tournament, the Laver Cup, last month. Zverev’s main sponsors include Adidas and Rolex, which have so far stuck to him despite the allegations.