London, Oct 4 (IANS) The ATP Tour, the men’s tennis body, on Monday confirmed that it has opened an investigation into domestic abuse allegations levelled against Alexander Zverev by former partner Olya Sharypova.
Sharypova made the allegations against world No 4 Zverev, earlier this year, saying that the German had grabbed her by the throat and forced her against the bathroom wall in a New York hotel room during the Shanghai Masters in 2019.
“.. an internal investigation into allegations concerning Alexander Zverev at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Shanghai in 2019 is currently underway. The ATP fully condemns any form of violence or abuse and will investigate such allegations related to conduct at an ATP member tournament,” the ATP said in a statement.
Zverev has repeatedly and strenuously denied the allegations. He also had issued a statement on the allegations, reiterating his denial of any wrongdoing.
“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,” Zverev wrote on Twitter.
“The lawyers have therefore initiated further proceedings against the source and the author. I categorically and unequivocally deny having abused Olya,” he added.
Meanwhile, ATP CEO Massimo Calvelli said that allegations raised against Alexander Zverev are serious and it is ATP’s responsibility to address them.
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,” said Calvelli.
“We will also be monitoring any further legal developments following the preliminary injunction obtained by Zverev in the German courts,” he added.
The ATP’s move comes after an independent review into their safeguarding policy, commissioned earlier this year, was completed “to ensure all adults and minors involved in professional tennis are safe and protected from abuse”.
The ATP said that they will now evaluate the recommendations made by the body led by Chris Smart, a former detective chief inspector of the Met, with a view to develop a longer-term safeguarding strategy relating to all matters of abuse, including domestic violence.
“As an organisation we recognise the need to be doing more to ensure everyone involved in professional tennis feels safe and protected,” Calvelli said.
“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 added.