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Alexander Zverev hails 'justice' as ATP finds 'insufficient evidence' of domestic abuse

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London — Alexander Zverev said “justice has prevailed” after tennis chiefs announced Tuesday there was “insufficient evidence” to substantiate allegations of domestic abuse against the German former world number two.

The 25-year-old became the subject of an ATP-commissioned probe in October 2021 following allegations made by his former girlfriend, Olya Sharypova.

But the ATP, which runs the men’s tour, said the results of the investigation meant it would not be taking disciplinary action.

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Zverev, whose 2022 season ended when he tore ankle ligaments at the French Open, said he had denied the “baseless allegations” from the start and would now focus on his career.

“This decision marks a third, neutral, third-party arbiter who has reviewed all relevant information and made a clear and informed decision on this matter in my favour,” he said in a statement.

“In addition to the ATP’s independent investigation, I have also initiated court proceedings in Germany and Russia, both of which I have won.”

Zverev, who reached the second round of the recent Australian Open, has slipped to 14th in the world rankings after his injury problems.

“I am grateful that this is finally resolved and my priority now is recovering from injury and concentrating on what I love most in this world — tennis.”

Investigation complete

The ATP said earlier Tuesday that the investigation had been completed.

“A major independent investigation into Alexander Zverev has found insufficient evidence to substantiate published allegations of abuse,” it said.

The ATP said while the primary focus of the probe related to alleged abuses at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Shanghai in 2019, its scope also included possible misconduct in other locations, including Monaco, New York and Geneva, as referenced in public reporting.

An inquiry led by the Lake Forest Group (LFG), a third-party investigator, conducted “extensive interviews” with Sharypova, Zverev and 24 others.

It also reviewed submissions by both Sharypova and Zverev, including text messages, audio files and photos.

Following a 15-month process, LFG submitted its full report to the ATP, which said that “based on a lack of reliable evidence and eyewitness reports, in addition to conflicting statements by Sharypova, Zverev and other interviewees, the investigation was unable to substantiate the allegations of abuse” or determine that violations of the ATP’s rules had taken place.

The statement added the findings “may however be re-evaluated should new evidence come to light, or should any legal proceedings reveal violations of ATP rules”.

ATP chief executive Massimo Calvelli said: “We ultimately believe the exhaustive process was necessary to reach an informed judgement.

“It has also shown the need for us to be more responsive on safeguarding matters. It is the reason we’ve taken steps in that direction, with a lot of important work still ahead.”

AFP

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