The Telegraph investigation: “Tennis referees live in fear, abuse of power and sexual exploitation”

A few months ago, the English newspaper said Telegraph The chair announced the suspension of the judge Sovereign FremelThe ITF is best known for declaring the main referee ineligible Novak Djokovic at the US Open 2020 Later That Serbian tennis player hit the line judge in the neck. Freemail has been on voluntary suspension since June 19, since then A young male referee accused him of inappropriate behavior.

The Telegraph His investigation is ongoing and we read in an article published today: “Tennis referees live under the rule of fear and are at risk of sexual harassment, according to some prominent figures who have called for urgent reforms to curb the exploitation of young match officials. We saw that:
– This type of abuse of power has been known to tennis authorities for at least 15 years
– Confidentiality Agreement was appointed to keep such cases confidential
– Exposure to sexual advancement “has long been considered a fast track for aspiring referees.
– A small number of people have a disproportionate impact on the recruitment of referees, creating a network of sponsors and potential exploitation.
– People are afraid to speak up because whistleblowers are deprived. “

The magazine also found it Tennis authorities Referees are prohibited from interacting with the media. Richard Ings, the former arbitration chief for the ATP Tour, said: “This rule was designed to avoid discussion in special cases within the game. It was never intended to protect the sport from embarrassment. But that is what has happened. If they tell a reporter what’s going on behind the scenes, even anonymously, their bosses will find out who provided that information.. If they find the culprit, or perhaps suspect someone, they do not have to bring the actual accusation of non-compliance, they simply cannot select the person for the next position. The message spread quickly and a wall of silence was built. “.

Referrals need to be reviewed“- said a senior tennis manager, who did not want to be named.

Other former match officials revealed Al Telegraph There have been a number of secret abuses over the decades. “In my day, using your body to move your career forward was a well-known way to speed up your career.“- he said Martin Wickstrom, Sweden who served as chairman in the early 2000’s before becoming a successful business executive. “If you look at some match officials who could have appeared they could never have done it, if it depended entirely on their skills..

According to another match official, the lack of clarity about the appointment allows the sponsor networks to develop: “Nowadays, to get a good career or promotion for a referee, being good in the chair is not enough. The face matters too. If you make the right connections, or get into the right marriage, you too will pass many better people than you, and you will keep going even if you make a bad mistake on live world television.

I strongly believe that both us and the tour must work together in a row to facilitate worldwide refereeing. By working together we can successfully tackle emerging challenges such as the role of new technologiesSuch as electronic calls, which will undoubtedly require a change in the development path of the next generation of referees and match officials.“- he says instead Chris DentITF’s professional tennis chief, whose department oversees the referees.

Finally, the article discusses the player-referee relationship, which has grown exponentially in recent months. The same Weekstrom Commented on social media: “The referees are sitting on the laps of the best players“, Following the sentence then suspended by the arbitral tribunal ATP Miro Bratoyev Towards Alexander ZverevAfter the racket, Germany aimed the chair judge at the tournament Acapulco.

Just for this kind of behavior, last week, ATP’s number 1 Andrea Goudenzi He sent a circular to draw attention to the men’s visit, in which he complained: “An unusual phenomenon occurred in the first three months of the season, with high-profile players becoming the main characters in sports-like behavior.

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