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IOC seeks explanation of Russian member’s comments

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The International Olympic Committee is asking Russian member Shamil Tarpischev for a “full explanation” of his comments about Venus and Serena Williams that led to him being fined and suspended by the women’s tennis tour.

Tarpischev, head of the Russian tennis federation, was fined $25,000 and banned from the WTA Tour for a year after referring to the Williams sisters as “brothers” and saying they were “scary” to look at.

Tarpischev, who made the comments on a Russian television talk show, denied any “malicious intent” and said his quotes had been taken out of context.

The Russian has been an IOC member since 1994.

The IOC says it “will directly contact Mr. Tarpischev to ask him for a full explanation of his comments.”

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