Work in Sports
Damir Dokic thrown out
Father involved in fourth incident in 14 months
NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Damir Dokic, the often out of control father and coach of Australian teenager Jelena Dokic, was thrown out of the U.S. Open on Wednesday after throwing a tantrum in the Players Lounge over the price of salmon.
The burly, bearded Dokic became enraged over the $10 price tag for a slender portion of salmon at the Players Lounge and was escorted out by tournament security after aiming an abusive tirade at a food server.
Later, when he tried to re-enter the complex that houses the players' lockerroom, lounge and dining room with his daughter, Dokic was turned away by head of tournament security Pete Pistole, who forcibly herded him through the parking lot.
Damir, holding his arms outstretched to show he was not returning the physical force Pistole was applying, shouted: "Look America, look what happens in your country," said witness Shahrnaz Kemal of Pakistan.
Later, screaming profanities at Pistole and other officials as his 17-year-old daughter, a Wimbledon semifinalist this summer, stood tearfully by, Dokic was led to a policeman who told him to leave the premises or face arrest.
Officials said Dokic, who finally got into a courtesy car with his daughter and was driven away, would not be allowed back on the National Tennis Center grounds.
Jelena Dokic is into the second round of the tournament after beating Israeli Anna Smashnova. She next faces Miriam Oremans of the Netherlands -- but without her coach.
A native of Yugoslavia, Dokic is three-quarters of the way to a Grand Slam of boorish behavior after previous incidents at Wimbledon and the Australian Open.
At the 2000 Australian Open, he was accused of assaulting a cameraman. At Wimbledon two months ago, he was escorted off the grounds after a drunken rage in which he smashed a broadcaster's cell phone to the ground.
In June 1999, he was cited for drunk and disorderly conduct for lying down in the middle of the road after being thrown out of a tournament in Birmingham, England, for being verbally abusive at the matches.
"Damir Dokic, the father of Jelena Dokic, was removed from the grounds as a result of abusive behavior in the player lounge earlier today," tournament director Jay Snyder said in a statement.
"He will not be allowed back on the grounds for the remainder of the U.S. Open. The Sanex WTA Tour was consulted and fully supports the decision," Snyder added.
WTA Tour chief Bart McGuire said in a statement: "The Sanex WTA Tour consulted with the USTA and fully supports their decision in banning Damir Dokic for the remainder of the U.S. Open.
"Based upon Mr. Dokic's past history of such incidents, a formal review is being conducted to determine what additional action will be taken by the Tour. The Tour will announce its decision shortly after the U.S. Open."
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