Alexander Zverev under investigation by ATP into allegations of domestic violence
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 after domestic violence charges brought by a former girlfriend.
Zverev, 24, a German rising star ranked fourth in the world in men’s singles, has strongly denied accusations he was violent with Olya Sharypova during a series of physical altercations, and did so again in a press release Monday. Sharypova, a Russian national, has not filed any criminal charges for the incidents which she says took place in 2019. The two started dating when they were teenagers, but the relationship ended more than 20 years ago. ‘a year.
Ahead of the US Open, Zverev sought an injunction in a German court to prevent further reporting on the allegations by Slate, who had published an long article on them by Ben Rothenberg, a freelance tennis writer who sometimes writes for the New York Times. The court granted the injunction and Zverev called it confirmation of his innocence.
Although the court stopped before that, he agreed with his argument that the evidence presented in the article was not sufficient in German law to justify the impact on him. The ruling stipulated that such an article should be balanced enough so as not to leave the impression that Zverev was guilty of the acts Sharypova accused him of committing.
Several players have said 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 fully supported the creation of an ATP policy against domestic violence. In addition, I welcome ATP’s investigation into this matter and have been asking ATP to open an independent investigation for months.
Andy Murray, a former world No.1, has complained several times this year about how he feels ATP is dragging its feet on the issue, long after several North American sports leagues changed their policies to allow gamblers who are victims of domestic violence. allegations to be suspended.
“Obviously that was something that needed to change in terms of handling certain situations, I think, this year,” Murray said after ATP said he would consider changing his policy. “I just didn’t really feel like the sport had any kind of a position on it, really.”
On Monday, the ATP said it fully condemns any form of violence or abuse and will investigate such allegations related to conduct at an ATP member tournament.
Massimo Calvelli, director general of ATP, called the allegations against Zverev “serious”.
“We have a responsibility to resolve 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 recommend changes to its policies regarding the conduct of players, including players subject to alleged abuse.
Zverev has suggested he will cooperate with an investigation, but it is unclear what form that cooperation will take. The ATP has so far had no clear rules for investigating and taking action against players facing allegations of domestic violence before the cases go to court.
Sharypova said she did not intend to press charges or prosecute Zverev over the altercations, which allegedly took place in the United States, China and Switzerland while Zverev was competing.
Zverev is set to play at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif. 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, the agency founded by Roger Federer and his agent Tony Godsick, despite taking part in Federer’s tournament, the Laver Cup last month. Zverev’s main sponsors are Adidas and Rolex, who so far have stood by him despite the allegations.