July 4, 1995 in Sports

Tarango Slapped With Record Fine

Washington Post
 
Tags:tennis

The tables turned Monday. This time Wimbledon officials slapped a Tarango - with a record total of $15,500 in fines for Saturday’s memorable events.

Jeff Tarango received a $10,000 levy for verbal abuse of the chair umpire, Bruno Rebeuh, whom he called “the most corrupt official in the game” before he walked off the court in the middle of a third-round match. Tarango also received fines of

$5,000 for failing to complete the match and $500 for unsportsmanlike conduct, when he yelled “shut up” to the crowd that jeered him in the midst of his arguing a ruling by Rebeuh.

Tarango has 10 days to appeal the fines.

A statement released by the referee’s office said, “The events which followed the match” - which included Tarango’s wife, Benedicte, slapping Rebeuh and Tarango leveling accusations of favoritism against the umpire - “will be subject to further investigation.”

Rebeuh has not commented on “L’Affaire Tarango,” as a London Times columnist called it, but the referee’s release included Rebeuh’s report on the incident.

“On my way back to the referee’s office with Mr. Stefan Fransson (the Grand Slam supervisor), Mrs. Tarango walked up behind me, pinched and twisted my arm and then slapped my face twice and said: ‘Anyway, I will see you again …’ ” Rebeuh wrote. “This happened right in front of … a lot of people around, players and press people and officials.”

John McEnroe drew the previous largest fine, $10,000 for verbal abuse, in 1991.

Monday, Tarango held a news conference (sans Benedicte), in which he neither apologized nor took questions.

“I’d like to say that my wife and I had to stand alone and defend ourselves against overwhelming pressures,” Tarango read from a prepared statement. “Her resilience through all this has been incredible. We both felt what we have done was what we were forced to do in desperate moments. We are taking a stance on this issue, and as a result, paying a huge price.

“I have been assured that a proper investigation will follow where all the evidence of the case will be brought to the Grand Slam Committee’s attention. So far, I feel the investigation has been, and hopefully will continue to be, conducted as fairly as it has been so far.”

Tarango thanked a number of players who, through their comments to the media, have supported Tarango’s call for increased player rights on the tour - an overlooked part of his sensational news conference Saturday.

He named Mats Wilander, Wayne Ferreira, Pete Sampras, Scott Melville and McEnroe. The last one was rather surprising, since McEnroe made some critical comments about Tarango’s actions on NBC.

Saturday, Tarango accused Rebeuh of calling matches in favor of certain players in order to gain their friendship, citing Switzerland’s Marc Rosset as an example of those who benefit. Monday, Tarango said, “I am sorry that Marc Rosset’s name came out in this and I am sure he has no involvement and I would also like to add that I think he is a truly great player.

“I truly wish the players in the sport of tennis all the best and hope we can make great strides to ever improve our great sport.”

Tarango earned $32,000 from singles and doubles at Wimbledon and had earned $156,479 on this year’s tour before Wimbledon.

The Tarangos celebrate their first wedding anniversary today.

MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: COSTLY TRIP A financial look at Jeff Tarango’s trip to Wimbledon:

EARNINGS Prize money $28,256 Per Diem 1,728 Total 29,984

FINES Verbal Abuse (-10,000) Defaulting (-5,000) Unsportsmanlike Conduct (-500) Unpaid French Open Fine (-5,000) Total (-20,500)

Taxes (-6,523) Remainder $2,961

This sidebar appeared with the story: COSTLY TRIP A financial look at Jeff Tarango’s trip to Wimbledon:

EARNINGS Prize money $28,256 Per Diem 1,728 Total 29,984

FINES Verbal Abuse (-10,000) Defaulting (-5,000) Unsportsmanlike Conduct (-500) Unpaid French Open Fine (-5,000) Total (-20,500)

Taxes (-6,523) Remainder $2,961

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