|ESPN.com: Tennis||[Print without images]|
“"This comes as part of UAE's commitment to organize international sport, educational and economic events and activities without putting any boundaries in front of the participation of individuals from states represented in the United Nations," al-Qurtasi was quoted as saying by the country's state news agency, WAM. Larry Scott, the head of the Women's Tennis Association, told The Associated Press that the Emirates has guaranteed him that Peer would be allowed to participate in the tournament next year. But Scott said he wanted Emirati officials to put that promise in writing. "We're encouraged by this statement and the apparent change in policy by the tournament and the UAE government, but before I'm going to put Dubai on our 2010 calendar 100 percent there are additional guarantees, assurances and measures we are going to require to just make 100 percent sure what happened last week couldn't possibly happen again," Scott said. The Dubai tournament could still face a fallout from its decision to ban Peer. Scott said the WTA would decide whether to penalize the Dubai tournament, which could include fines. He did not elaborate but said a board of directors meeting was scheduled for Friday. "The player has been harmed and it was clear breach of tournament rules and contract with the tournament and it needs to be dealt with," Scott said. The Tennis Channel had already canceled plans to televise the women's tournament, and the Wall Street Journal Europe withdrew as one of its sponsors. A prominent group of Jewish American leaders also urged WTA to punish the UAE for banning Peer.
... Before I'm going to put Dubai on our 2010 calendar ... guarantees, assurances and measures we are going to require to just make 100 percent sure what happened last week couldn't possibly happen again.” -- WTA head Larry Scott