Stan Wawrinka slams ‘shameful’ decision to initially keep faith with Justin Gimelstob

ATP Tour
Stan Wawrinka pointing

Stan Wawrinka has called on men’s tennis to learn from the “shameful” recent incidents, adding he wants to be represented by “people with clear, strong ethical values”.

Tennis has gone through a rough patch in recent months as Chris Kermode was ousted as ATP chief executive despite having the backing of several top players.

Back in December the ATP Board opted not to sack or suspend Justin Gimelstob from his role as representative despite the American facing assault charges.

Gimelstob eventually pleaded “no contest” to felony battery charges and was sentenced to three years probation and 60 days of community service.

He finally resigned from his role on the ATP Board this week, but Wawrinka feels a decision should have been made well before that.

In a letter to The Times he added that “politics have overshadowed the action on the courts” and warned of the “worrying decline in moral standards”.

The latter states: “I am relieved that Justin Gimelstob has finally had the decency to resign from the ATP board after being sentenced for assault, but I am dismayed by how long this took. I am also concerned that many within the game think this episode is now over, and are simply relieved at having avoided any negative press themselves. This is not good enough. We are ALL accountable and we must ALL learn from this.”

He added: “My fellow players on the council should never have been put in the position where they had responsibility for deciding whether Justin should have remained in his position. It is the duty of the board representatives to lead by example and protect the players. They (the ATP board) should have immediately managed this controversy. Instead they shamefully voted in December for Justin to continue with his duties.

“Many players feel that they were not represented properly throughout the last few months, during which so much has happened politically. I agree with them. I do not want to be associated with anyone who played a part in this, let alone be represented by them. I want to be represented by people with clear, strong ethical values.”

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