Mlade­n­ovic and Gar­cia cleared to play in Fed Cup fi­nal

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Kristina Mlade­n­ovic and Caro­line Gar­cia can play for France in the Fed Cup fi­nal against the Czech Re­pub­lic after the French ten­nis fed­er­a­tion lifted their ban yes­ter­day.

The pair had been pro­vi­sion­ally sus­pended for "dam­ag­ing" the fed­er­a­tion's image at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, where the play­ers crit­i­cized the FTT over a cloth­ing mix-up after their de­feat in the first round of the dou­bles.

Mlade­n­ovic and Gar­cia said they were not in­formed that, as dou­bles part­ners, they had to wear the same col­ors.

The play­ers were told just be­fore go­ing on court that they could lose by de­fault if they did not change their cloth­ing, and Mlade­n­ovic had to lend Gar­cia some spare gear.

The FFT said the play­ers "ex­pressed re­grets for re­marks they made fol­low­ing a ter­ri­ble dis­ap­point­ment and frus­tra­tion."

France hosts two-time de­fend­ing cham­pion Czech Re­pub­lic in the Fed Cup fi­nal from Novem­ber 12-13 in Stras­bourg. The Czechs are bid­ding for a fifth ti­tle in six years while France plays its first fi­nal since 2005.

"We wanted to move on," France cap­tain Amelie Mau­resmo said on the fed­er­a­tion's Twit­ter ac­count. "There was this un­for­tu­nate episode in Rio, now we need to move for­ward. I wanted a de­fus­ing of the sit­u­a­tion, that ev­ery­one took a step for­ward. I'm only in­ter­ested in fo­cus­ing on that fi­nal."

In a state­ment on Satur­day, the FFT ac­cepted "its share of re­spon­si­bil­ity in the prob­lems that oc­curred at the Rio Olympics" but up­held the sus­pen­sion of Benoit Paire. Seeded 16th at the Rio Games, Paire was sent home after be­ing kicked off France's team.

He was ac­cused of break­ing "team rules" after he re­port­edly some­times stayed away from the vil­lage, or came back late. He also made dis­mis­sive com­ments about the im­por­tance of the games be­cause there are no rank­ing points.

The FFT said yes­ter­day that Paire will re­main sus­pended un­til the end of Fe­bru­ary 2017.

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