MADRID (AP)—The WTA Tour Board rejected an appeal by organizers of the Dubai Tennis Championships of a record $300,000 fine and other penalties stemming from the United Arab Emirates’ decision to deny a visa to Israeli player Shahar Peer.
The UAE turned down Peer’s visa request a day before she was to arrive for the $2 million tournament in February.
On Feb. 20, the tour levied the fine—more than twice as much as the previous highest imposed by the WTA—and put in place conditions for the tournament to stay on the schedule for 2010. They included confirming that qualifying Israeli players will get visas at least eight weeks in advance.
Top-ranked Dinara Safina agreed it was unfortunate that Peer wasn’t allowed to compete.
“About the punishment, I’m not the one to judge what’s right or wrong,” the Russian said from the Madrid Open on Friday. “I just say that it’s a shame that Shahar could not compete in the tournament because she has nothing to do with the politics—she’s a tennis player.”
The organizers’ appeal was heard by the tour board at its meetings this week during the Madrid Open.