Former Australian champ suspended for racial taunts

LONDON - Former Australian Open junior champion Brydan Klein was suspended for six months by the ATP yesterday for racially abusing an opponent.

LONDON - Former Australian Open junior champion Brydan Klein was suspended for six months by the ATP yesterday for racially abusing an opponent.

The 19-year-old Australian was penalised for making a racial slur during a qualifying round match on June 13 against South Africa's Raven Klaasen at the grass-court tournament in Eastbourne, England.

The ATP said Klein was also fined an additional R82 000 on top of the R114 000 penalty he received on site.

The suspension covers all ATP World Tour and ATP Challenger Tour events. Klein, who won the Australian Open junior title in 2007 and is currently ranked No 186, was found guilty of aggravated behavior under the ATP Code of Conduct. "The incident was deemed to have been 'behavior that is flagrant and particularly injurious to the success of a tournament or is singularly egregious," the ATP said in a statement.

Klein has the option of appealing or accepting a reduced penalty option.

The final two months of the suspension and the additional fine will be waived if he successfully completes a racial sensitivity training course.

Meanwhile, French tennis player Mathieu Montcourt, who was found dead outside his apartment near Paris early on Tuesday, died of a heart attack, a police source told AFP yesterday. - Sapa/ARP-AFP

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