Justin Gimelstob resigns from ATP board after assault sentencing

Justin Gimelstob playing at Wimbledon in 2005
Justin Gimelstob partnered Venus Williams to victory in the 1998 Australian and French Opens mixed doubles and twice reached the men's doubles quarter-finals at Wimbledon

Justin Gimelstob has resigned from the ATP board after being sentenced for assault, saying he has become "a significant burden and distraction".

He was given three years probation and 60 days community service after a "no contest" plea to a battery charge.

Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka had suggested the American should leave his role as a player representative.

"Given the current climate I do not deserve to be in this position of influence," Gimelstob, 42, said.

Gimelstob, who has also worked as a coach and TV commentator, was sentenced in Los Angeles last week.

Former friend Randall Kaplan alleged that early in the evening of 31 October, Gimelstob "punched him in the head and face more than 50 times" in front of Kaplan's pregnant wife Madison and two-year-old daughter.

Mrs Kaplan went on to have a miscarriage, which the couple believe was a result of the stress of the attack.

Gimelstob did not admit guilt by pleading no contest and says he still "disputes the way that evening has been depicted".

But in a statement on his Facebook page, he added: "That evening compromised the sport and the people that entrusted me with the authority to represent them.

"My job was to best represent the players, the ATP, and be a custodian of the sport. My choices and actions last Halloween night prohibit me from doing that at this time.

"My role is designed to work on behalf of the players and the sport and it is clear that I have now become a significant burden and distraction to both.

"That is not something that could or should continue."

Britain's Murray became the first leading player to call on Gimelstob to quit his role, telling the Telegraphexternal-link he "could not see" how the American could continue.

On Tuesday, fellow three-time Grand Slam Champion Wawrinka called for an end to "a shameful period" for the sport.


BBC Sport tennis correspondent Russell Fuller

Forced into a corner, as critics multiplied and others pledged to stand against him at this month's election to the board, Gimelstob took the only option he had left.

Saccharine in parts, his statement does at least acknowledge his actions have compromised the sport and that he does not deserve to be in a position of influence.

His resignation is long overdue. In a statement to the court, the victim Randall Kaplan said he was left with concussion, frequent headaches and PTSD. The judge called it a "violent, unprovoked attack in public in front of children."

The events of Halloween night should not disqualify Gimelstob from working in tennis for life.

But it is completely inappropriate for him to be associated with the sport right now. He remains on leave of absence from the Tennis Channel: their silence becomes increasingly deafening.

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