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WTA fines Dubai organizers $300,000 for denying Israeli player visa

DUBAI: The WTA fined Dubai Tennis Championships organizers a record $300,000 Friday after Israeli player Shahar Peer was denied a visa by the United Arab Emirates. The Women's Tennis Association also took steps to compensate Peer and ensure she and other Israeli players won't be shut out of future tournaments in the federation. Organizers said...

SAMAA | - Posted: Feb 21, 2009 | Last Updated: 12 years ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Feb 21, 2009 | Last Updated: 12 years ago
WTA fines Dubai organizers $300,000 for denying Israeli player visa

DUBAI: The WTA fined Dubai Tennis Championships organizers a record $300,000 Friday after Israeli player Shahar Peer was denied a visa by the United Arab Emirates.

The Women's Tennis Association also took steps to compensate Peer and ensure she and other Israeli players won't be shut out of future tournaments in the federation.

Organizers said at the time that they feared fan anger over Israel's recent military offensive in the Gaza Strip would spill into riots if Peer were to play. The UAE and Israel do not have diplomatic relations.

Part of the fine, more than double the previous largest levied by the WTA, will go to Peer and doubles partner Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany to make up for the prize money they could have won at the lucrative tournament.

“I think what we hope with this decision is that we're sending a very clear message that we're not going to tolerate discrimination of any kind,” tour CEO Larry Scott told The Associated Press. “We wanted to send a clear signal that this is the most egregious action the world of tennis has seen in recent history. And we felt that it should be at least double what the previous highest penalty was.” -AP

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