Tennis: Tarango apologises for his conduct at Wimbledon

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Jeff Tarango yesterday apologised for his infamous outburst at Wimbledon that led to a fine of almost pounds 30,000 and a ban from next year's tournament.

The American left the court, refusing to play on, in protest at umpiring decisions during a singles match against Alexander Mronz. Later, he questioned the impartiality of the umpire, Bruno Rebeuh.

In August he was found guilty by the Grand Slam administrator of "aggravated behaviour" and "conduct contrary to the integrity of the game". In addition to a hefty fine, he was suspended from the 1996 Wimbledon championship and one other Grand Slam tournament.

On appeal to the Grand Slam committee, Tarango's fine was reduced to pounds 18,000, which equals the prize money he would have otherwise received. He will still not be allowed to play in next year's Wimbledon but the additional one-tournament suspension was suspended for three years.

In a statement, Tarango said yesterday: "At this year's Wimbledon, I made some public remarks about a tennis official which I sincerely regret. I unequivocally apologise to Mr Bruno Rebeuh for any embarrassment or harm that this incident may have caused him and his family. I do not intend to make such a mistake ever again."

He also apologised for making public statements "about a professional official and officiating in general, as well as walking off in the middle of a Grand Slam match watched by thousands of spectators." He admitted that had damaged the reputation of the game.