Roland Garros tell Naomi Osaka she could be defaulted over media stance

Naomi Osaka has been warned she could be defaulted form the French Open and suspended from future Grand Slams unless she re-engages with the media.

The four-time Grand Slam champion announced before the tournament that she would be boycotting the press conferences at Roland Garros to protect her mental health.

She stuck to that vow after her first round win and was promptly fined $15,000 for it.

However, Roland Garros officials have said they have reached out to Osaka to offer her whatever help she requires, and should she continue to neglect her media duties then much tougher sanctions could follow.

“Following [her] announcement, the Roland-Garros teams asked her to reconsider her position and tried unsuccessfully to speak with her to check on her well-being, understand the specifics of her issue and what might be done to address it on site,” a statement read.

“Following the lack of engagement by Naomi Osaka, the Australian Open, Roland-Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open jointly wrote to her to check on her well-being and offer support, underline their commitment to all athletes’ well-being and suggest dialog on the issues. She was also reminded of her obligations, the consequences of not meeting them and that rules should equally apply to all players.

“Naomi Osaka today chose not to honour her contractual media obligations. The Roland-Garros referee has therefore issued her a $15,000 fine, in keeping with the Code of Conduct.

“We have advised Naomi Osaka that should she continue to ignore her media obligations during the tournament, she would be exposing herself to possible further Code of Conduct infringement consequences.

“As might be expected, repeat violations attract tougher sanctions including default from the tournament and the trigger of a major offence investigation that could lead to more substantial fines and future Grand Slam suspensions.

“We want to underline that rules are in place to ensure all players are treated exactly the same, no matter their stature, beliefs or achievement.

“As a sport there is nothing more important than ensuring no player has an unfair advantage over another, which unfortunately is the case in this situation if one player refuses to dedicate time to participate in media commitments while the others all honour their commitments.”

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