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Tennis organization gives Tunisia one-year Davis Cup suspension

The International Tennis Federation has suspended Tunisia from the Davis Cup for one year for preventing a player from competing in a match. The board voted unanimously to suspend Tunisia from the Davis Cup.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) found the Tunisian Tennis Federation in breach of international tennis's constitution when it ordered one of its players, Malek Jaziri, not to compete against the Israeli Amir Weintraub (pictured) at the 2013 Tashkent Challenger in October in Uzbekistan. Tunisian ITF board member Tarak Cherif recused himself from the vote.

"There is no room for prejudice of any kind in sport or in society," ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said. "The ITF board decided to send a strong message to the Tunisian Tennis Federation that this kind of action will not be tolerated by any of our members. The board felt that suspension from Davis Cup, a competition that was founded 113 years ago to encourage better understanding through sport, would provide a good lesson for the Federation and a fitting penalty for their unfortunate action."

The 29-year-old Jaziri, his country's highest-ranked player at No. 215 in the world, had initially pulled out of the match in question citing a knee injury. According to an email provided to Tunisia's state news agency by Jaziri's brother, however, the national federation had told him "you are ordered not to play against that Israeli tennis player."

In a statement, the ITF board announced that it had found the Tunisian Tennis Federation guilty of "interfering with international sporting practice."

In the 2013 Davis Cup, Tunisia played in the third-tier Group II and lost to Latvia in the first round.

mkg/rc (AFP, AP)