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"REAL SPORTS" EXAMINES STEFFI GRAF'S OFF-COURT TROUBLES

          HBO's "Real Sports" examined the tax evasion case
     against PETER GRAF, father of STEFFI GRAF, as his trial in
     Germany winds down.  HBO's Jim Lampley noted that during its
     investigation of Grafs' finances in '94, German tax
     prosecutors compiled a list of Steffi's income from
     tournaments over the years, which included appearance fees
     of more than $1M.  Lampley added that "several" of these
     tournaments were officially sanctioned by the WTA Tour. 
          BOOK OF RULES:  WTA Tour regulations "specifically
     forbid such guaranteed payments."  According to those rules,
     a player receiving an appearance fee could be subjected to
     "hefty fines" and a suspension of up to three months.  Corel
     WTA Tour CEO ANNE PERSON WORCESTER sent HBO a letter reading
     in part: "The Corel WTA Tour continues to utilize both its
     internal and external resources to monitor the Peter Graf
     tax evasion trial ... and determine the validity of the
     allegations regarding appearance fees allegedly paid to
     players.  To date, the tour has still not been able to
     obtain, or has [not] been presented with any substantiated
     evidence, of appearance money being paid to any tour
     player."  Chief trial prosecutor HUBERT JOBSKI said during
     the investigation of Graf's finances, it "surfaced ... that
     certain organizations have paid appearance fees.  They were
     officially declared as appearance fees."  But, according to
     Lampley, no one from the WTA has contacted Jobski regarding
     that information.  Tennis Week Publisher GENE SCOTT: "It is
     absolute nonsense to think that [Graf] would have been paid
     those amounts of money were it not as an incentive to show
     up in the tournament.  ... Without admitting that there is a
     problem, how can they [WTA Tour] come up with a solution?"
          PLENTY MORE READING:  KLAUS BRINKBAUMER, a writer for
     the German magazine Der Spiegel, co-wrote a book outlining
     "how the Grafs' allegedly bilked the German Government out
     of millions."  Brinkbaumer, on the WTA's reluctancy to
     investigate: "Everybody in women's tennis wants to keep
     Steffi Graf on the tour.  So there is nobody in the world of
     women's tennis who wants to go after this, or who wants to
     find out what's going on."   After the segment, Lampley told
     Bryant Gumbel that if the WTA Tour knew about the fee, "they
     probably preferred to believe that the money was being paid
     to Steffi as promotional money for services related to the
     tournaments, and if they knew more than that then it was
     probably in their best interest to look the other way." 
     Lampley added, "This is a very difficult time for the WTA
     Tour.  They are just finishing their first year of their new
     sponsorship deal with Corel.  In that first year, it is
     known that Corel is not happy that Graf played [Monica]
     Seles one time, and ...it never happened in a WTA Tour
     event.  [GABRIELA] SABATINI and [KIMIKO] DATE, two top-ten
     players, have just retired.  Seles is heading for probable
     shoulder surgery.  So to lose Steffi Graf for a long period
     of time to suspension would be a critically damaging blow to
     the WTA Tour" ("Real Sports," HBO, 1/13).
          WTA: PERSON WORCESTER, in response to the report: "We
     are actively monitoring the Peter Graf tax evasion trial and
     have attempted to obtain documents.  But the German system
     doesn't allow disclosure of documents.  Our course of action
     will be decided after the trial" (USA TODAY, 1/13).

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