Spanish federation chief to face probe over finances

Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:14pm EDT
 
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By Tim Hanlon

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Spanish tennis federation (RFET) president Jose Luis Escanuela is to be investigated for alleged financial mismanagement, the country's government sports council (CSD) said on Tuesday.

A Spanish disciplinary committee for sports (TAD) last week suspended Escanuela for a month for failing to collaborate in a probe into the federation’s finances and that is set to be extended for the duration of disciplinary proceedings.

Olvido Aguilera, appointed as interim president after the decision by TAD will be suspended and is to be investigated similarly, CSD said.

In the statement CSD cited the “extraordinary seriousness of the facts”.

They relate to “economic management, transparency, good government, obstacles that have prevented economic control that the law has given to CSD and the electoral process in 2012 that led to Jose Luis Escanuela becoming president.”

Part of the investigation will involve tracking down what happened to at least 700,000 euros ($780,197) the RFET paid out in transactions linked to the Spanish Tennis Foundation and the Spanish Tennis Observatory.

There has been fierce criticism of the federation by players and other high profile figures in Spanish tennis with 44 people including multiple grand slam champion Rafa Nadal putting their name to an open letter written last Sunday which hit out at poor organization and a lack of transparency.

The RFET appointment of Gala Leon as Spain’s first female Davis Cup captain last September was another cause for complaint by many who felt that she did not have the experience for the role.

(editing by Justin Palmer)

 
Spain's new Davis Cup captain, former women's Tour player Gala Leon (R) walks next to Spanish Tennis Federation (RFET) president Jose Luis Escanuela before attending a news conference in the Andalusian capital of Seville September 23, 2014.  REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo