ITF slam Schuettler decision
Tennis rulers upset with German selection decision.
Last Updated: 04/08/08 5:00pm
Schuettler: Beijing decision
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has slammed the decision to allow Rainer Schuettler to compete in the Olympics despite him not making the entry requirements.
""The ITF believes that a transparent and consistent system of entry is the only possible way for tennis as an Olympic sport to have credibility with players and fans.""
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The German was not in the top 56 when the list for the Games was drawn up, but Germany selected him in their team after his run to the semi-finals at Wimbledon shot him up to 34 in the rankings.
Schuettler was chosen for the German team despite Denis Gremelmayr and Michael Berrer being higher in the standings at the time of the Olympic deadline.
However, the Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS) has ruled that Schuettler can take part in Beijing but the decision has not gone down well with the governing body of tennis.
"The ITF is very disappointed with the decision and feels that the precedent set today could ultimately harm the rights of international federations," the ITF said in a statement.
"It is very disturbing for the ITF, and should be for the IOC, when players who do not meet the ITF qualification criteria, approved by the IOC, are entered at the expense of players who qualified and deserve to represent their countries at the 2008 Olympic Games."
Schuettler who won a silver medal in the doubles with Nicolas Kiefer at the Athens Olympics in 2004, and he is delighted to have got his own way.
"I heard the decision from my lawyer that the CAS court in Beijing had decided to let me compete and I am very happy to be able to go to an Olympic Games," he said.
"I have already been congratulated by Dr Thomas Bach, president of the German Olympic Sports Federation, and I am looking forward to joining the team in China."
The ITF is not happy though, and they believe that the decision harms tennis as an Olympic sport because of it muddying the waters with regards to selection.
"The ITF believes that a transparent and consistent system of entry is the only possible way for tennis as an Olympic sport to have credibility with players and fans," the ITF statement added.
"Every tennis event around the world uses the world ranking as the basis for entry and the ITF finds it difficult to accept that criteria can be changed from country to country depending on the views of particular National Olympic Committees."