August 28, 2019 / 2:03 AM / 23 days ago

ATP fires chair umpire Steiner

FILE PHOTO: Mar 23, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Alexander Zverev of Germany (R) argues with chain umpire Damian Steiner after a ruling in his match against David Ferrer of Spain (not pictured) in the second round of the Miami Open at Miami Open Tennis Complex. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Damian Steiner, the chair umpire who officiated the men’s singles final at last month’s Wimbledon, has been fired by the ATP for giving interviews to news media in his native Argentina without authorization, the men’s Tour said on Tuesday.

Steiner, who oversaw Novak Djokovic’s epic win over Roger Federer, recommended rule changes in a podcast that included restricting the use of towels during play, abolishing the service let and allowing in-match coaching.

“The ATP can confirm that it has terminated the employment of ... Damian Steiner due to his multiple breaches of the ATP ... policy related to media interviews,” the Tour said in a statement.

“Steiner was found to have conducted multiple media interviews without seeking the required authorization from an ATP Supervisor.

“In addition, 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 has a longstanding policy against allowing chair umpires to give interviews.

Reporting by Rory Carroll, editing by Peter Rutherford

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