Ex-Tennis Australia boss fined $90,000 over Channel 7 controversy

Australian Associated Press
·3-min read
Former Tennis Australia director Harold Mitchell is pictured at the 2016 Australian Open.
Former Tennis Australia director Harold Mitchell has been fined $90,000 by the Federal Court for corporate breaches relating to the awarding of broadcast rights to Channel 7. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Former Tennis Australia director Harold Mitchell has been fined $90,000 for corporate breaches in the lead-up to the 2013 Australian Open.

It comes after the Federal Court found he overstepped the line in negotiating television rights for that year's grand slam tournament.

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Mr Mitchell breached his duties as a director on three occasions, including by passing information to Seven West director Bruce McWilliam in 2012.

Seven West won the contract for the Open.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission took Mr Mitchell and former Tennis Australia president Steve Healy to court over the saga.

The court in July threw out the entire case against the latter and the bulk of the allegations against Mr Mitchell.

But Justice Jonathan Beach did find the former director "stepped over the line in his dealings with Mr McWilliam".

"There were some things that he communicated to Mr McWilliam that he ought not to have done, particularly in the latter part of 2012".

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But the judge also said none of this caused any damage to Tennis Australia.

In a separate ruling on Wednesday, he penalised Mr Mitchell $90,000 for breaching his duties as a director.

Bianca Andreescu confirms Melbourne return

Canada's Bianca Andreescu has fully recovered from a knee injury that has forced her to miss the entire 2020 season and says she's confident of playing the Australian Open in January.

The 20-year-old, who made a massive breakthrough when winning the US Open last year, has not played on tour since the 2019 WTA Finals in Shenzhen where she retired with a left knee injury.

"I'm doing really well. The virus kind of pushed me back, and some little personal things here and there, but right now I'm good, I'm training hard ... I'm really looking forward to 2021," the Canadian told the Tennis Majors website.

Canada's Bianca Andreescu is pictured during the 2019 Shanghai Open.
Canada's Bianca Andreescu says she has recovered from a persistent knee injury and is targeting the Australian Open in 2021. (Photo by Zhe Ji/Getty Images)

"I'm perfectly healthy. I just really wanted to take time to build everything in my life, and I think this time off really helped me do that."

World No.7 Andreescu said she will be "one hundred per cent" in Melbourne to play the year's first Grand Slam.

"I wouldn't say I am ready tomorrow to play a match because I am taking it step by step, but maybe in a couple of weeks I will be good," she added.

"I don't want to rush anything but I'm feeling good."

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