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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » ITF dismay at Schuettler decision

ITF dismay at Schuettler decision

August 05, 2008 09:47 IST

The International Tennis Federation reacted with dismay on Monday after German Rainer Schuettler was told he could compete in the Beijing Olympics tennis event following a Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing.

Schuettler filed a case with the court on Sunday saying he should be allowed to take part despite failing to make a 64-man draw based on the world rankings on June 9 with each country allowed a maximum of four players.

He based his case on the fact that several eligible players had pulled out of the competition and that the German National Olympic Committee had entered him.

At the cut-off point, Schuettler was ranked 89th. He is now 34th after a run to the semi-finals at Wimbledon.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) said it was disappointed by the failure of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to arbitrate in the case and Schuettler's decision to accept a place.

"It is very disturbing for the ITF, and should be for the IOC, when players who do not meet the ITF qualification criteria, approved by the IOC, are entered at the expense of players who qualified and deserved to represent their countries at the 2008 Olympic Games," the ITF said in a statement.

"The ITF believes that a transparent and consistent system of entry is the only possible way for tennis as an Olympic sport to have credibility with players and fans.

"Every tennis event around the world uses the world ranking as the basis for entry and the ITF finds it difficult to accept that criteria can be changed from country to country depending on the views of particular national Olympic committees."

The ITF said the German Olympic Committee should have offered the place to Denis Gremelmayr who met the qualifying criteria. Michael Berrer was also six places ahead of Schuettler at the entry deadline.

"The ITF deplores the lack of understanding by the German Olympic Committee about entry to tennis events around the world including the Olympic Games," the ITF said.

"There is no excuse for Mr. Schuettler who is prepared to take a place that was earned by his compatriot Denis Gremelmayr and of next alternate Michael Berrer. The ITF wishes him the best of luck even if he was not eligible for Beijing."

The Olympic tennis competition runs from August 10-17.

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