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Russian Tennis Official Fined For Calling Williams Sisters 'Men'

Russian Tennis Federation President Shamil Tarpischev has been fined and suspended from the women's tennis tour for one year after calling tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams "the Williams brothers."

Stacey Allaster, chairwoman and CEO of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA), said in a statement on October 17 that Tarpischev would be fined $25,000 and the WTA would seek to have him removed as head of Moscow's Kremlin Cup tournament.

Allaster said Tarpischev's remarks were "insulting" and "demeaning."

She added that Tarpischev should apologize to the Williamses.

Tarpischev, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), made the comment about the Williams sisters on a television show with former Russian tennis star Elena Dementieva last week.

Tarpishev said on October 18 his comments were meant as a joke and he did not understand why he was being banned.

He also was quoted as saying he had not been informed of any punitive actions by the WTA.

Serena Williams is the no. 1 ranked women's player in the world and has won 18 Grand Slam singles championships.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP

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