22 Feb 2009

International Wire Story

8:42 am on 22 February 2009

The Dubai Tennis Championships has been fined a record $586,000 by the governing body of women's tennis after top Israeli player Shahar Peer was barred from taking part in the event.

The WTA says the fine is the largest ever levied against a WTATour member and Peer will be awarded $86,000, an amount equal to the average prize money she earned per tournament in 2008.

WTA chief Larry Scott says the actions taken are intended to redress the wrongs suffered by Shahar Peer, who was victimised by an unjust policy of discrimination by the UAE.

He says these actions are also intended to send a clear message that the Tour will not tolerate discrimination of any kind and will never allow this situation to happen again in the UAE or elsewhere.

The UAE, like most Arab countries, has no diplomatic ties with Israel and routinely denies entry to Israelis.