Swedish police detained two tennis players before the Stockholm Open on Sunday for allegedly soliciting prostitutes (via AP):
The two men were identified only as foreign citizens. Investigation leader Jonas Trolle told The Associated Press on Monday that they were detained as they entered a hotel in Stockholm early Sunday with their escorts. He said both players were set to compete in the tournament, which started Monday. . .
. . .Trolle said a prosecutor in the case had issued a so-called summary punishment, which allows someone suspected of a minor offense to avoid a trial by signing a confession. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the players had signed the document.
The players’ identities have not been officially released, though the Swedish press reports that one of the players was fined 2,500 Swedish krona (less than $400 USD), while the other player was not charged. So if this was his “summary punishment” I say the player got off easy, considering sex solicitation is punishable in Sweden with up to six months in prison.
Thanks to the Italian media for not dropping the ball on this one. According to various reports, Latvian star Ernests Gulbis is the top suspect.
Via Yahoo, Italia (Google translated)
This week in Stockholm is scheduled ATP 250 and between the players involved in the tournament the news of the escapade of the two young men did not go unnoticed.Actually, there have been some rumors and gossip as tennis lovers will want to know the names of those who were caught red-handed (so to speak …), immediately reveal that the main suspect is Ernests Gulbis: That he failed to appear for a Sunday workout could be considered a clue …
Once again, nothing official, but the gossip puts the naughty button on Gulbis. Swedish comeback kid Joachim Johansson (a.k.a. “Pim-Pim”) also blabbed about it on his blog (google translated from Swedish):
Immediately after yesterday’s match it was a different press conference when I received many tricky questions. Here are some of the questions and answers: If you could get hurt again in two years, would you continue? Probably (. . .) Can you imagine playing DC? I want to always. What are you playing next? I Have applied for WC everywhere. What do you think about what Gulbis has done? No comment.
Pim-Pim also talks about the identity of the second suspect, who evidently is not Juan Monaco:
Now I have made against Juan Monaco in the second round, which suits me as a glove. Monaco late last night found out that he had been accused in the Argentine press that he was the guilty player who bought sex during the weekend even though he was not involved. He will probably have a hard days before the match on Wednesday. I’ll try to take advantage of it early in the match.
It seems, via Men’s Tennis Forums and HC Foo, that Pim-Pim originally wrote something on his blog like “Gulbis already acknowledged (the charge)” but this has since been changed. If any of you end up playing on the ATP tour, you now know who NOT to tell your deepest darkest secrets to!
Matt Cronin at tennisreporters.net offers this perspective: “According to some rich tennis lore, they aren’t the first players to engage in such an activity in Stockholm.”
Ernie Gulbis is 21-years-old and currently ranked 93 in the world. He reached a career high of 38 last summer, before injury and perhaps the pressures of the tour sent him into rankings free fall. If he is the culprit in the case, let’s hope it’s a wake-up call for the struggling star. Gulbis plays Feliciano Lopez on Wednesday in his first round match at the Stockholm Open.