Tarpischev may appeal suspension for remarks about Williams sisters

by: Kamakshi Tandon | December 15, 2014

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Russia's tennis chief referred to Serena and Venus as the "Williams brothers" on a Russian talk show. (AP Photo)

Russian tennis federation chief Shamil Tarpischev says he may appeal his suspension by the WTA for making a derogatory remark about the Williams sisters.

Appearing on a Russian talk show, Tarpischev referred to Serena and Venus Williams as the “Williams brothers.” He received a $25,000 fine and a one-year suspension from involvement in WTA tournaments. The ITF has recognized the suspension given to Tarpischev, who is also the Russian Fed Cup captain, and the International Olympic Committee has also investigated the issue.

"I am looking at the possibility of filing a lawsuit," Tarpischev was quoted as saying by ITAR-TASS, a Russian news agency. “If I am going to make such a move then it will be in the U.S. court, where I will be able to find out on what basis the sanctions were applied.”

Tarpischev said he would have to look at who to make the claim against, saying he had had his remarks analyzed by language experts who did not rule them to be offensive. "I translated the findings into English and sent them to the WTA but they did not accept them," he said. "The International Tennis Federation and International Olympic Committee also said they would not look into the issue."

Tarpischev also sent a letter of apology to the Williamses, following a WTA request to do so. However, he has also criticized the response to his remarks, describing them as an extreme reaction.

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