Gimelstob steps down from ATP role

Amid growing pressure, Justin Gimelstob has said he will leave his role as a player representative on the ATP board.

Two-time grand slam mixed doubles champion Justin Gimelstob.   -  Getty Images

Justin Gimelstob has stepped down from his position on the ATP board after becoming a "a distraction and a liability".

Gimelstob was sentenced to three years of summary probation after he pleaded no contest to one misdemeanour count of battery with serious bodily injury in Los Angeles last week.

The 42-year-old broadcaster was also given 60 days of community labour and a week of anger-management classes following an alleged attack on his former friend Randall Kaplan last October.

The ATP responded by stating that Gimelstob's position as a player representative on the board would be reviewed ahead of the scheduled election for his role in Rome later this month. But leading players Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka questioned how Gimelstob could remain in place and the American has announced his decision to leave the governing body.

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"I'm stepping down because my job is to work on the sport's behalf and the players' behalf and, in my situation, I've become too much of a distraction and a liability," Gimelstob told the New York Times.

"I take responsibility for that, and I take responsibility for the mistakes I made on Halloween night."

Gimelstob revealed he travelled to Spain this week to inform world number one Novak Djokovic, the player council president, of his decision.

"I wanted to look Novak in the eye," he said. "And the two most important things I wanted to say were, first, 'thank you' and, second, to apologise."

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A winner of two grand slam mixed doubles titles in his playing career, Gimelstob issued a statement on Facebook confirming his resignation with immediate effect.

"I'm heartbroken to walk away from something I love so much but given the current climate I do not deserve to be in this position of influence," he wrote.

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