Naomi Osaka fined $ 15,000 and threatened a ban for avoiding the media at the French Open


Naomi Osaka was fined $ 15,000 for failing to attend a press conference at the French Open, the tournament organization said on Sunday. In addition to the fine, the second-place four-time Grand Slam winner could face harsher penalties if she continues to refuse to speak to the media.

“Naomi Osaka decided today not to meet her contractual media obligations. The Roland-Garros referee has therefore imposed a fine of US $ 15,000 on her in accordance with Article III H. of the Code of Conduct,” said the four Grand Slam tournaments on Sunday in a joint statement.

Osaka announced last Wednesday that it would not do any press at the French Open because it saw the practice as harmful to the mental health of the athletes. “We have often sat there and asked questions that we have been asked several times or asked questions that cause doubt in our minds, and I will not only submit to people who doubt me,” she wrote on social media platforms . The 23-year-old added that she hoped any fines she would face would be used for a mental health charity.

Osaka followed her promise after her First round win against Patricia Maria Tig on Sunday when she did not attend the post-game press conference. However, she attended the traditional on-pitch interview immediately after the game.

The Grand Slam organizations, which include Tennis Australia, the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC), and the US Tennis Association (USTA), said Sunday they had previously reached out to Osaka for “their wellbeing.” and to review their offer “, underline their commitment to the welfare of all athletes and suggest a dialogue on the topics. “

“She was also reminded of her obligations, of the consequences of non-compliance and that the rules should apply equally to all players,” said the organizations, adding: “A core element of the Grand Slam regulations is the responsibility of the players, engaging with the media regardless of the outcome of their game, a responsibility the players take on for the good of the sport, the fans and themselves. “

The groups highlighted the existing resources focused on the mental health of the players and said they “need commitment from the players” in order to improve these services.

The Grand Slam organizations also said they had informed Osaka that continued refusal to appear in the media will result in further punishment: “As is to be expected, repeated violations will result in harsher sanctions, including the cancellation of the tournament (Code of Conduct, Article III T.) and the trigger for a serious criminal investigation which could lead to higher fines and future Grand Slam suspensions (Code of Conduct Article IV A.3.). “

Osaka has not yet commented on the fine or threats of late payment and suspension. She is supposed to play against Ana Bogdan in the second round.

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