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Tennis News

China brushes off French Fed Cup protest

China's Shuai Peng returns the ball to France's Nathalie Dechy at the Paris Open tennis tournament February 6, 2008. China has dismissed a protest filed by France after their Fed Cup tie this month, saying the match referee had cleared one of the Chinese players to leave the tie before it ended, state media reported on Friday. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has dismissed a protest filed by France after their Fed Cup tie this month, saying the match referee had cleared one of the Chinese players to leave the tie before it ended, state media reported on Friday.

French officials wrote a letter of complaint to the International Tennis Federation (ITF) after China’s Peng Shuai left the February 2-3 tie to prepare for the Paris Open.

The French argued it was “not normal” for a player to leave before the end of the match and claimed Peng had missed a doping test after the tournament. France lost the tie in Beijing 3-2.

Chinese Tennis Association deputy director Gao Shenyang countered that Peng’s departure had been granted by the referee following her win over Virginie Razzano.

“The match referee represents the International Tennis Federation, so there’s no procedural problem,” the Beijing Youth Daily quoted Gao as saying.

Gao said China would wait for advice from the ITF regarding Peng’s missed doping test.

“If they ask us, we’ll have further consultations with them, but let’s first wait and see,” he said.

Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Alastair Himmer

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