Tennis

Father of Bernard Tomic banned by ATP after assault charges

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The father and coach of Bernard Tomic, John Tomic, has been banned from all ATP tournaments until further notice after he was charged with assault.

John Tomic appeared in a Madrid court on Monday and pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting Thomas Drouet – a training partner of Bernard Tomic.

The ATP reacted to the news of the alleged assault by withdrawing John Tomic’s accreditation, meaning he will not be able to watch his son, the current Australian number one.

“Following last week's incident in Madrid concerning John Tomic, and the ensuing investigation, Mr Tomic's credential privileges have been suspended at all ATP tournaments until further notice. The ATP's investigation into this incident remains ongoing,” read a statement.

While John Tomic is denying the charge, Drouet was describing his version of events to media in Australia.

The 29-year-old alleges the incident began after a disagreement at Nice airport before they flew to Spain, as Bernard Tomic was set to take part in the Madrid Open this week.

"Outside the Cuzco hotel he comes up to me and I think he is about to apologise [for the incident in Nice] and he says come over here with me,” Drouet told www.news.com.au this week.

"So I walk with him maybe 100 metres and he is doing this [looking about], like looking about for a place. It was away from the front. He then says the same things and then spits in my face.

"I took steps back and say: 'OK John, you are a real man.' And then I say: 'OK don't pay me, Bernard will pay me'.

"He suddenly turns and headbutts me right here [points at bridge of nose). I call out 'help' and then I fall down. I am out 10 to 15 minutes, I didn't know – that is what I am told.

"I lost consciousness, I blanked out. I was told after this headbutt he just walked back to the hotel like normal, like nothing happened."

However, John Tomic’s lawyer says her client has provided a differing description of the incident.

"[Tomic] claims [Drouet] was the aggressor and grabbed him," said Carmen Dieguez.

The incident could have been a distraction for Bernard Tomic, as his campaign in Madrid was ended in the first round against Czech Radek Stepanek.

It was another disappointment for the 20-year-old who has been struggling of late after a strong start to the season, which saw him win his first ATP World Tour title in Sydney.

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