LTA apologises over child abuse case

The Lawn Tennis Association's National Tennis Centre, Roehampton Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images

The Lawn Tennis Association has issued an apology and will instigate an independent inquiry after one of its coaches in Wales was jailed earlier this year for sexually abusing an underage player.

Daniel Sanders, former head coach at the Wrexham Tennis Centre, was sentenced to six years in July after admitting eight counts of sexual activity with a child.

The LTA accepted its actions to protect children playing the game were "not enough" in this case, in their formal response to an article in the Guardian in which it was reported that Sanders [a former doubles partner of Tim Henman and a former advisor to Jamie Murray] had been allowed to remain in his role despite warnings, until his conviction in July.

"Nothing is more important to us than the safety of children who play tennis," a statement on the LTA website read.

"Creating a secure, respectful environment for those in our sport is our top priority as an organisation.

"We have always been committed to having the best safeguarding procedures possible at every level of the game, but in this case the actions we took were not enough, and we apologise sincerely for the impact on all those affected.

"Following the conclusion of the legal case, we have decided to undertake a wide-ranging, independent inquiry into Wrexham Tennis Centre and this case.

The inquiry will look at what lessons everyone in tennis can learn and we will publish its findings once it is complete.

"We are also continuing to engage and work with those who have been directly affected by what happened to ensure they have the support they need and that we, and tennis clubs nationwide, set and uphold the highest standards possible in this area."