Andy Murray speaks out on ATP probe into Alexander Zverev domestic abuse allegations

Andy Murray has once again spoken out about domestic abuse allegations against Alexander Zverev, which he continues to deny, in the wake of news that the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) will be launching an investigation into the accusations. The Brit has been vocal on the situation in recent months, calling on the tour to be more “proactive”, and has now commented on their decision to investigate the allegations following an independent review of their safeguarding policy with a focus on abuse.

The ATP announced on Monday (October 4) that an independent safeguarding report commissioned back in August had been completed, and that they would use recommendations made in the review to inform and develop a long-term safeguarding strategy “relating to all matters of abuse, including domestic violence.”

The organisation also confirmed they would be investigating allegations of domestic abuse made against world No 4 Zverev that took place at the Shanghai Masters 1000 in 2019, claims that the 24-year-old has continued to deny.

The German’s ex-girlfriend of a year, Olga ‘Olya’ Sharypova, first accused Zverev of domestic abuse in October 2020, later detailing multiple alleged incidents of assault in interviews published in Racquet and Slate, among which included claims that Zverev hit her head into a wall, was ‘controlling and possessive’, took a pillow and sat on her face, took her passport to prevent her from leaving him, and punched her in the face.

ATP CEO Massimo Cavelli said on Monday: “The allegations raised against Alexander Zverev are serious and we have a responsibility to address them. We hope our investigation will allow us to establish the facts and determine appropriate follow-up action.

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“We understand Zverev welcomes our investigation and acknowledge that he has denied all allegations.”

Murray has now spoken on the ATP’s decision to launch an investigation into the allegations detailed relating to the 2019 Shanghai Masters, saying it was positive there would now be protocols in place to deal with future allegations.

“I mean I spoke about that a couple of times in the last few months and said I do feel like the tour could’ve been certainly, or should have been more proactive in dealing with it,” the former world No 1 said.

“But I think now you have to try to look at the positives of what’s come from that and that, yes it’s taken a little bit too long, but now there is going to be like a process in place and protocols in place when allegations like that are made so I see it as being a positive step, although one that probably should have happened sooner.”

While the three-time Grand Slam champion has been vocal on the allegations specifically pertaining to Zverev in the past, he said he would not be commenting further during the investigation, noting the importance of bringing Sharypova’s claims to light before they were acknowledged by the ATP.

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He continued: “Obviously the investigation is ongoing now and it’s not something that, now that that is happening, I don’t feel comfortable commenting on really until it’s run its course and there’s a verdict on that.

“I don’t think it’s fair to do that now. I think beforehand when there was nothing going on and it was not really being addressed it was important to speak out about that but now just respect that process and see what happens at the end of it.”

Meanwhile, Zverev himself has welcomed the investigation into Sharypova’s allegations.

“I’ve been asking them myself for months now, asking them to do that since London [ATP Finals] last year because it’s very hard for me as you guys know to clear my name, and only with something like this I can, completely,” he said, speaking in Indian Wells.

The recent Olympic gold medallist also took to social media to release a statement following the news that the ATP would be launching an investigation.

He wrote: “I have always been in full support of the creation of an ATP domestic violence policy. Moreover, I welcome the ATP-investigation in the matter and have been asking the ATP to initiate an independent investigation for months.

“As stated before, I categorically and unequivocally deny any of these allegations. We have obtained a preliminary injunction against the publisher and the journalist of the false allegations which states, the accusations are defamatory and false.

“Nevertheless the publisher and the journalist are both in deliberate violation of this court order by refraining from taking down the reporting and continuing to push the allegations on social media repeatedly. My lawyers have initiated further proceedings.”

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