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Last Updated: Monday, 24 September 2007, 17:17 GMT 18:17 UK
LTA suspends top junior players
Naomi Broady and David Rice
These and other photos of Broady and Rice were publicly accessible on social networking websites
Two of Britain's top juniors have been suspended for "unprofessional behaviour" and "lack of discipline".

BBC Sport understands David Rice, the second-best British junior, and Naomi Broady, the national Under-18 champion, have had their funding withdrawn.

They were deemed by the Lawn Tennis Association to have breached contracts requiring them to act professionally.

The LTA took the action after being alerted to photos and confessions on the Bebo social networking website.

606: DEBATE
UB

Rice, who is 18, and 17-year old Broady have had funding and coaching withdrawn, while several other British junior players have been warned about their future conduct.

They were found to be publicising a lifestyle of partying, drinking and eating junk food.

Neither of the players was available for comment and the LTA has not confirmed which players have been suspended.

In the pictures, one British junior is shown slumped on a hotel bed surrounded by empty pizza boxes.

Naomi Broady and David Rice
Broady and Rice have had their funding withdrawn

The caption reads "fatty" and someone has posted the comment "I thought you were meant to be an athlete".

Another photo shows one of the juniors standing in the street holding an empty bottle, with the caption: "Me drunk for a change".

On Broady's Bebo page she says she hates "hangovers after a good nite owt [sic]" while Rice says he's happiest when "wiv the boyz partyin and chillin [sic]". He adds "you can't beat Watford 4 a nyt out [sic]".

Virtually all the players left their pages unlocked, allowing the whole world access.

The pages were finally locked on Sunday following calls from furious officials at the LTA.

LTA chief Roger Draper told 5live Sport: "The people they're letting down the most is themselves."

I don't think sometimes they realise the opportunities they've been given

Roger Draper
LTA chief executive

He added: "They've either got to behave like professional athletes or go and do something else.

"It's about taking responsibility, being accountable and sorting their lives out.

"What disappoints me more than anything else is while these people are saying they want to be professional tennis players and want all the trappings that come with that, they aren't behaving in that way.

"We've got to deal with it behind closed doors and there's a big education job to be done with these players. I don't think sometimes they realise the opportunities they've been given."

SEE ALSO
Murray warns British youngsters
25 Sep 07 |  Tennis
Youngsters lack desire - Henman
17 Sep 07 |  Tennis
Tennis masterplan
13 Oct 06 |  Tennis


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