Tennis: Zverev reaches agreement after management dispute
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Alexander Zverev is being investigated by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) over allegations of domestic abuse, the governing body has confirmed. The rising tennis star is accused of violence by former girlfriend Olya Sharypova, who last November gave an interview detailing the abuse she claimed she suffered at the hands of the world number four during their year-long relationship.
Zverev, an Olympic gold-medallist this summer, allegedly hit Sharypova’s head into a wall, was ‘controlling and possessive’, took a pillow and sat on her face, took her passport to prevent her from leaving him, and punched her in the face during a series of assaults throughout their relationship.
The German has repeatedly denied all allegations against him.
The ATP said in August it had commissioned an independent safeguarding report in light of the claims.
That report has now been completed, leading to an internal investigation into allegations made against Zverev at an ATP event in Shanghai in 2019.
“The ATP fully condemns any form of violence or abuse and will investigate such allegations related to conduct at an ATP member tournament,” a statement from the body said.
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Chief executive Massimo Calvelli added: “As an organisation we recognise the need to be doing more to ensure everyone involved in professional tennis feels safe and protected.
“The recommendations of the safeguarding report will help us approach this in a robust way. We are committed to making meaningful steps forward and know this won’t be an overnight process.”
He continued: “The allegations raised against Alexander Zverev are serious and we have a responsibility to address them. We hope our investigation will allow us to establish the facts and determine appropriate follow-up action.
“We understand Zverev welcomes our investigation and acknowledge that he has denied all allegations.
“We will also be monitoring any further legal developments following the preliminary injunction obtained by Zverev in the German Courts.”
The ATP added it will be developing a long-term safeguarding strategy “relating to all matters of abuse, including domestic violence,” using recommendations made in the report.
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The news of the investigation comes after Grand Slam-winner Andy Murray became one of the few tennis professionals to speak publicly about the allegations.
He called on the ATP to be more proactive in addressing the claims, adding he felt the ongoing situation “hasn’t been great” for anyone involved.
In a statement on August 27, Zverev said: “I have engaged my German and American lawyers in the matter. They have already obtained a preliminary injunction against the source and the author who published the false allegations.
“The court followed our arguments and states, the accusations aroused are defamatory and false. The lawyers have therefore initiated further proceedings against the source and the author.
“I categorically and unequivocally deny having abused Olya. I also fully support the creation of an ATP domestic violence policy. I will not address this matter any further.”
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