Tennis umpire Damian Steiner fired by ATP after giving unauthorized interviews
The chair umpire for the celebrated men's singles Wimbledon final between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer has been fired by the Association of Tennis Professionals for violating tour policies.
Damian Steiner was let go Aug. 15 by the organization, his primary employer, for giving a series of interviews to the media in his native Argentina, according to the New York Times.
Steiner never cleared the interviews with tour officials.
The 44-year-old also addressed several topics that go against ATP guidelines, such as individual matches and whether to eradicate the use of towels during play.
“Much of the content of Steiner’s media interviews were a direct violation of the standard protocol in place whereby officials must refrain from discussing specific incidents or matches, individual players, other officials, or rules.
In the interest of maintaining impartiality at all times,” the ATP told the New York Times in a statement, confirming Steiner had been fired.
With questions regarding officiating becoming more prevalent in the sport, tennis has taken steps to improve transparency.
At the U.S. Open this year, officials are increasing access to top officials such as tournament referee Soren Friemel and chief umpire Jake Garner. Steiner's actions, however, are not what they had in mind.
Steiner was suspended in early August prior to his firing. He began working as a tennis official in 1994.
Last year at the U.S. Open women's singles final, chair umpire Carlos Ramos clashed with Serena Williams in her eventual loss.
He will not be in the chair for any of her matches, or for any of her sister Venus' matches, during this tournament.