Gimelstob bows to pressure and quits ATP board after assault sentencing
Justin Gimelstob has resigned from the board of the ATP, the governing body for men’s tennis, admitting that he had become “a distraction and a liability” after being sentenced for assault.
The 42-year-old US executive had come under significant pressure to quit after he was recently given three years’ probation and 60 days’ community service by a Los Angeles court after pleading no contest to a charge of battery.
The charge related to an attack on a former friend Randall Kaplan, a venture capitalist, at a Halloween party last year.
Gimelstob, a former player who been working as a coach and in the media, as well as in tennis administration, told the New York Times: “I’m stepping down because my job is to work on the sport’s behalf and the players’ behalf and in my situation, I’ve become too much of a distraction and a liability.”
He added that he had flown to Madrid to tell world number one Novak Djokovic, the chairman of the ATP player council, of his decision.
Other prominent players Andy Murray and Stanislas Wawrinka had led calls for Gimelstob to step down as a player representative on the ATP board.
Gimelstob has been one of three members of the ATP player board, which controversially voted not to extend the contract of executive chairman and president Chris Kermode, meaning that the British official will leave the organisation at the end of this year.
The ATP tournament council expressed “sincere disappointment” at Kermode’s removal, while several top players voiced concerns over the decision, and how it came to be made.