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Post Info TOPIC: LTA suspends two juniors


Tennis legend

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LTA suspends two juniors


Two of Britain's top juniors have been suspended for "unprofessional behaviour" and "lack of discipline".

BBC Sport understands David Rice, the second-best British junior, and Naomi Broady, the national Under-18 champion, have had their funding withdrawn.

They were deemed by the Lawn Tennis Association to have breached contracts requiring them to act professionally.

The LTA took the action after being alerted to photos and confessions on the Bebo social networking website.

Several other British junior players have been warned about their future conduct.

They were found to be publicising a lifestyle of partying, drinking and eating junk-food.

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Neither of the players was available for comment and the LTA has not confirmed which players have been suspended.

LTA chief Roger Draper told 5live Sport: "The people they're letting down the most is themselves."

He added: "They've either got to behave like professional athletes or go and do something else.

"It's about taking responsibility, being accountable and sorting their lives out.

"What disappoints me more than anything else is while these people are saying they want to be professional tennis players and want all the trappings that come with that, they aren't behaving in that way.

"We've got to deal with it behind closed doors and there's a big education job to be done with these players. I don't think sometimes they realise the opportunities they've been given."

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In the pictures, one British junior is shown slumped on a hotel bed surrounded by empty pizza boxes.

The caption reads "fatty" and someone has posted the comment "I thought you were meant to be an athlete".

Another photo shows one of the juniors standing in the street holding an empty bottle, with the caption: "Me drunk for a change".

On Broady's Bebo page she says she hates "hangovers after a good nite owt [sic]" while Rice says he's happiest when "wiv the boyz partyin and chillin [sic]". He adds "you can't beat Watford 4 a nyt out [sic]".

Virtually all the players left their pages unlocked, allowing the whole world access.

The pages were finally locked on Sunday following calls from furious officials at the LTA.

Reacting on 5live Sport, British number one Andy Murray said: "At a certain age everyone goes through a phase like this.

"I made some mistakes when I was 16 or 17 in Barcelona but now I don't go out, I don't drink, I don't smoke and none of the top players do.

"It's just something as a professional athlete you have to realise, it's one of the sacrifices you have to make; you're not at university, not doing a nine-to-five job, you have to stay in tip-top shape.

"Being professional is the main thing that you need to get right if you want to become a great athlete. If you don't have that then you're never going to make it."

From BBC.



-- Edited by wolf at 19:41, 2007-09-24

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Pro player

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Oh dear. Read this article with dismay.... I understand the LTA position, but also hope that after a due period of suspension of funding the doors will be opened, provided the players give the appropriate undertakings (and sort out actually being athletes....). They are, after all, in their late teens so do deserve a second chance if they are prepared to be serious.

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Admin:Moderator + All Time Great + britishtennis.net correspondant

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So being a young tennis star doesnt protect you from the 'binge-drinking' culture...thats no surprise....pity to read this sort of stuff....hope they shape up, get the funding back and move on...they will get their chance again...I hope !

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They talked about this on Radio 5 last night, loads of texts were coming in saying to "leave them alone, they're only kids" which I found a bit strange. I imagine the texts were from the same people that are the first to complain around Wimbledon time when our players all fall like dominoes in the first round. If they're any cop they'll sort themselves out and come back stronger wanting to prove people wrong.

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Club Coach

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I suspect that this culture has been around for a while and the LTA are using Rice and Broady to make a point. There was a lot of talk around Wimbledon time about our players not trying hard enough and I think that this is the LTA response. Telling players to put the effort in is one thing - showing them what happens if they don't has a lot more impact.

It's a hard lesson - and they are only kids (well, Broady is still 17, anyway) so I don't really blame them individually - but I suspect that it will pay off.

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I think it will pay off. These kids have worked too hard for too long. They both clearly have talent....I just hope that they can move beyond this and it is forgotten. I hate the way the press bring things up all the way through someone's career.

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Admin:Moderator + Tennis Legend

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THAT is the big snag. I wish it could have been less public, for the sake of their future careers, on the other hand it is necessary for all the juniors to know about it or it will not serve as a warning. I suppose once several people know about it the press is bound to find out.

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This is what Neil Harman in the Times says...

LTA adopts tough love policy in ruthless effort to raise standards

The Australians call it their "tough love" policy and yesterday David Rice and Naomi Broady were having to come to terms with the startling discovery that British tennis's gravy train does not run indefinitely. The response of the "Bebo Two", having had their funding cut over teenage pranks that went a little too far, will determine if they have a future in the sport.

But the action taken by the LTA pales against the tough sentences handed down by Tennis Australia (TA) against Bernard Tomic, a 15-year-old who has been earmarked for a prodigious future, and Brydan Klein, a 17-year-old from Perth who won the Australian Open junior title this year.

Klein was taken home after an outburst on court during an ATP futures tournament in Britain in the summer and will not be allowed to play until he completes an anger management course. Tomic was prevented from competing in the Wimbledon junior tournament as punishment for a lack of effort in the French Open.

Daniel Evans, the 17-year-old from Warwickshire who reached the quarter-finals of the US Open junior championship this month, and the doubles partner of Rice, insists that his friend is nothing like the person he has been painted in the past 24 hours.

"David is so different, hes a really quiet lad who doesnt say much," Evans said. "I know none of this happened during a tournament or in a training block because I'm with him then. But he's not a kid, he's 18 and he's allowed to let his hair down a bit. Succeeding in tennis is hard enough as it is without having to deal with this."


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-- Edited by Akhenaten at 15:53, 2007-09-26

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Masters Series Champion

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I'm taking that Klein outbust was cos of wrexham.

I'm suprised hes been given such a tough 'sentence' for that but it must a culmination of doing it time and time again.

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Personally I'm surprised that Rice and Broady weren't warned sooner given some of the stuff they've had on their pages....however I think the punishment is a little harsh and its not good to have it splattered all over the press

I'm also told that 2-4 other juniors were warned and had their pages deleted...I don't know names but I imagine Steph Cornish is one ?

Also told that 2 juniors were sent home from a La Manga training camp earlier in the year for bad behaviour...too much partying etc

A few months ago, one junior who's rated as one of the outstanding players of his generation (I imagine this is national not international ?) was severly warned for persistent bad behaviour....again I don't know the name....any ideas ?

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