American tennis great Pam Shriver wants the sport’s governing bodies to do more to prevent coaches from sleeping with their students.
Shriver, who revealed last year that he had an inappropriate relationship with his coach Don Candy as a teenager, told The Age in an interview published Sunday that punishing coaches who sleep with players is just as important as cleaning up the sport. of those who use performance-enhancing drugs or try to fix matches.
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“Having seen so many generations of players struggle with the same thing, I really want players to have more control over separating their personal lives from their professional lives,” she told the outlet. “There’s been so much acceptance that this happens. That has to change to ‘No, it can’t happen.'”
Shriver said additional layers or protection must be applied to all levels of the sport and called on the organizers of the four Grand Slam tournaments to take a greater leadership role.
“The WTA is dedicated to ensuring a safe environment throughout the tour,” a spokeswoman for the organization told the outlet. “Safeguarding requires vigilance, and we continue to invest in education, training and resources to improve our efforts.”
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Shriver’s latest comments come months after French tennis player Fiona Ferro accused her former coach of sexual assault for rape. Ferro made the allegations against Pierre Bouteyre in a social media post in September.
Victoria Azarenka also spoke out about the manipulation and exploitation of young players by coaches. She said during the US Open last year that the WTA Players Council considers safeguarding a “No. 1 issue…because we see these vulnerable young women being taken advantage of in different situations.”
He applauded Ferro for speaking out about his ordeal.
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“I applaud her for being brave,” he said. “I hope that this situation is strengthened and that tennis is not ruined because of it. I think it is a very, very heavy topic. But it is the topic that has to come out more.”
Associated Press contributed to this report.