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Seles Is Barred From Olympics, Says Field Has Been Depleted

August 17, 1991|THOMAS BONK

Monica Seles, who was barred Friday from competing in the 1992 Summer Olympics because she played in an exhibition last month and not the Federation Cup, said she accepts the ruling even though she is not happy about it. "I can't go to the U.S. Supreme Court and appeal," Seles said. "If I could I would."

The International Tennis Federation said Seles lacked a valid excuse for skipping the Federation Cup. "I took the risk," she said. "(But) the rule is not correct. I don't see the reason for Fed Cup."

According to the International Olympic Committee, only players in good standing with their sport's governing bodies would be eligible to play in Barcelona. The ITF ruled that making herself available for the Federation Cup would be the only factor in determining whether a player remained in good standing.

In addition to Seles, Gabriela Sabatini and Martina Navratilova are ineligible to play at Barcelona because they failed to make themselves available for Federation Cup. "It's not going to be good for the Olympics," Seles said. "Without me, Gaby, Martina, that's three of the top five players in the world. There will be no competition. Anybody can see that."

Seles presented the ITF with medical documents to support her claim that she skipped the Federation Cup in Nottingham, England, where should would have played for Yugoslavia, to avoid reaggravating shin splints. But the ITF rejected her excuse because she played the exhibition match.

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