I'm not a racist - Llodra

2012-03-15 09:33
Michael Llodra (File)

Indian Wells - French tennis player Michael Llodra apologised on Wednesday for directing a racial slur at a fan during a match at the ATP's Indian Wells Masters and insisted he isn't racist.

"I want to explain my position on the row and confirm above all that I am, of course, not racist," Llodra said in remarks posted on his website. "Everyone who knows me personally knows that very well.

"I want to say, 'Sorry!'"

Llodra, 31, was fined $2 500 by the ATP on Sunday, two days after his outburst during his opening match against Ernests Gulbis.

He yelled at a woman who was supporting Gulbis during his 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (7/3) win over the Latvian.

The incident was witnessed by Canadian journalist Tom Tebbutt, who wrote about it on his social networking Twitter site.

"Sat very first row -- dead centre behind the court for Llodra-Gulbis --heard a lot. Deplorable behaviour by Llodra -- read next tweet.

"ML smacked ball out of court, threw racquet, called female Gulbis supporter in crowd a ‘(bleep)ing Chinese.' I confirmed later with brother of woman."

Llodra said the outburst was due to frustration.

"Sometimes when things are not going as I planned, my irritation makes me swear, stupidly," Llodra wrote on his website. "A high-level sportsman who is a role model cannot say everything that comes into his head, even less so when it involves swearing.

"My immense frustration made me slip verbally. I really want to say sorry if I offended the Chinese community."

Tournament officials said Llodra was also verbally abusive towards the ball kids and their coordinator during the match. Besides the fine, Llodra was told to apologise.

Llodra and his doubles partner, Nenad Zimonjic, reached the finals of back-to-back tournaments in China last year, winning the doubles in Beijing and finishing as runners up in Shanghai.

Llodra withdrew from his second-round match against fellow Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the first set on Sunday because of a knee injury.


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.