Tennis player banned after racial slur against SA opponent

Former junior Australian Open champion Brydan Klein has accepted a six-month ban for racially abusing an opponent and will undergo a racial sensitivity course, local media reported on Friday.

The 19-year-old Australian was handed the ban and a $10 000 fine by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) on Thursday for a racial slur against South African Raven Klaasen during an ATP event in England last month.

Australian media said Klein, who won the junior Grand Slam event in Melbourne in 2007, had called Klaasen a “kaffir” and spat at his coach and another player.

“I sincerely regret my error in judgement in using the language I did and I am deeply sorry for the offence caused,” Australian Associated Press quoted Klein as saying in a statement.

“I am accepting of the ATP’s ruling and am now looking to put the whole incident behind me.

“I will undergo a racial sensitivity course and am determined to learn from this mistake.”

The ban would begin on July 20, and two months would be served in probation pending the 186th-ranked player’s completion of the sensitivity course, the agency added.

Klein, who made his Davis Cup debut in March, was earlier fined $13 290 by Tennis Australia, which suspended him from the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and cut off his funding grants.

Klein had previously been suspended from the AIS for poor on-court behaviour, the agency said.—Reuters

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