Tauziat not included in French Olympic team

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The Independent Online

France's national sports commission today released the near-definitive list of 341 athletes who would compete in the Sydney Olympics, but it did not include veteran tennis player Nathalie Tauziat.

France's national sports commission today released the near-definitive list of 341 athletes who would compete in the Sydney Olympics, but it did not include veteran tennis player Nathalie Tauziat.

The commission's decision confirmed the French Tennis Federation's decision to leave Tauziat out when it announced last month which players would compete in Sydney.

Tauziat shook up the tennis world this year with a book criticising the WTA Tour and journalists who highlight certain players like Russian 19-year-old Anna Kournikova at the expense of others.

In "Les Dessous du Tennis Feminin" (The underside of women's tennis), Tauziat said tournament organisers have a "commitment list" of the 20 most marketable players on the women's circuit.

The Tennis Federation said last month that it had made its choice for reasons directly related to the sport, and had not taken the controversial book into account.

After the final decision today, Linda Weil-Curiel, Tauziat's lawyer, said she would write a letter to the president of France's Olympic committee "asking him to take responsibility by remedying this injustice."

France sent 309 athletes to the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996, and French athletes brought back a record 37 medals, said French Olympic president Henri Serandour at a news conference.

France will be represented in 24 sports out of 27 at the Games, which begin September 15 in Sydney. This year, 38 percent of French athletes are to be women, up four percent from four years ago, Serandour said.

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