London - British tennis chiefs have issued an apology and
will instigate an independent inquiry after a coach in Wales was jailed earlier
this year for sexually abusing an under-age player.
Daniel Sanders, who once partnered Britain's former world
number four Tim Henman in doubles and reportedly coached Jamie Murray for a
time, was sentenced to six years behind bars in July after admitting eight
counts of sexual activity with a child.
The Lawn Tennis Association, the governing body of the sport
in Britain, accepted its actions to protect children playing the game were
"not enough" in this case.
"Nothing is more important to us than the safety of
children who play tennis," a statement on the LTA website read.
"Creating a secure, respectful environment for those in
our sport is our top priority as an organisation.
"We have always been committed to having the best
safeguarding procedures possible at every level of the game, but in this case
the actions we took were not enough, and we apologise sincerely for the impact
on all those affected."
The LTA said it had decided to undertake a
"wide-ranging, independent inquiry into Wrexham Tennis Centre and this
"We are also continuing to engage and work with those
who have been directly affected by what happened to ensure they have the
support they need and that we, and tennis clubs nationwide, set and uphold the
highest standards possible in this area," the statement added.
English football's governing body the Football Association
is currently carrying out an independent inquiry into historical child sex
abuse in the game.
Several ex-professional players have come forward publicly
to allege abuse at the hands of youth coaches after Andy Woodward revealed last
year he was abused by a convicted child molester at Crewe Alexandra.