The men’s professional tennis tour will not punish German star Alexander Zverev in connection with allegations he assaulted his girlfriend in 2019.
After a 15-month investigation, the ATP Tour announced on Tuesday that it had insufficient evidence to support the allegations and would not take disciplinary action against Zverev.
The ATP has ordered an investigation after Zverev’s ex-girlfriend Olya Sharypova, a former Russian tennis player, said Zverev repeatedly abused her during confrontations in New York, Shanghai, Monaco and Geneva.
The investigation was conducted by third-party consultants, Lake Forest Group, in collaboration with ATP outside counsel, Florida-based law firm Smith, Halsey & Bouzy. ATP issued a news release but did not publish the full report.
Zverev and Sharipova cooperated with the investigation and conducted extensive interviews with family, friends and other tennis players. Part of it comes from a forensic analysis of Zverev’s phone. Sharypova did not file criminal charges against Zverev.
Zverev denied the allegations and said he supported an investigation by the ATP. The allegations popped up both on social media and in his Slate lengthy article published in 2021.
“From the beginning, I have maintained my innocence and denied the baseless allegations against me,” Zverev said in a statement Tuesday. “I welcomed and fully cooperated with the ATP investigation. We appreciate the organization’s time and attention on this matter.”
Zverev also sued Slate, and a German court ruled after a preliminary hearing that the evidence presented in the article was insufficient to justify its impact on him under German law. That decision said the article needed a good balance so as not to leave the impression that Zverev was guilty of the acts Sharipova accused him of committing.
Zverev, the 2021 Olympic gold medalist in men’s singles, continued to play during the investigation, recording some of his biggest wins during that time, including the tour’s season-ending ATP Finals. He severely injured his ankle in the semi-finals of the French Open in June 2022, but returned to competition in late autumn. He played at the Australian Open in January and lost in the second round. After the loss, he said he still hasn’t regained the fitness or form he had before his injury.
“I am grateful that this has finally been resolved. My priority now is to recover from my injury and focus on what I love most in this world: tennis,” he said in a statement Tuesday.
Sharypova did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment on the investigation. In 2021, she said she didn’t want to tell her story, writing in her message: I want to live in the present and focus on making myself happy.”
ATP chief executive Massimo Calvelli said the Tour pursued a “thorough process” in its investigation. He said the investigation “demonstrates the need to act more quickly on protection issues”, including the protection of players, their partners and everyone directly associated with the tour. , plans to hire a director of safety measures in the near future.