Paris - Justin Gimelstob resigned from his position on the ATP's board of
directors after the American was sentenced following assault charges, he
announced on Wednesday.
Gimelstob, a former professional player, pleaded no contest to felony
battery charges and was given three years' probation and 60 hours of
community service by a Los Angeles court on April 22.
"I'm heartbroken to walk away from something I love so much, but
given the current climate I do not deserve to be in this position of
influence," he said in a Facebook post.
"While I can, have, and will continue to dispute the way that evening
has been depicted, the material matter is that my judgement that
evening compromised the sport and the people that entrusted me with the
authority to represent them," he added.
Gimelstob, 42, was in court following an incident in October last
year that saw him accused of attacking former friend Randall Kaplan
while the venture capitalist, his wife and their two-year-old daughter
were trick-or-treating on Halloween.
"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," Gimelstob said.
"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."
"It has become clear that I need to take a step back - for the good of the players, the game and for myself."
Pressure from players and former players had mounted on Gimelstob to
stand down from the ATP board, three-time Grand Slam champion Stan
Wawrinka joining the chorus just a day ago.
"Justin Gimelstob has been convicted of a violent assault. It simply
can not be possible for anyone to condone this type of behaviour and
worse support it," the Swiss former world number three said, calling the
American remaining on the board a "shameful period in our great sport."
Andy Murray, Pat Cash and Martina Navratilova were among several former players calling for Gimelstob's to be ousted.
Gimelstob went 107-172 in a career from 1996 to 2007, never winning
an ATP singles title and reaching as high as 63rd in the world rankings.
His best Grand Slam singles runs came to the third round at Wimbledon
and the US Open.
He captured mixed doubles Grand Slam titles at the 1998 Australian
and French Opens partnered with Venus Williams. Later, he served as a
coach and television commentator.