Australian tennis player Brydan Klein will undergo a racial sensitivity course after accepting a six-month ban from the ATP Tour for racially abusing a South African opponent.
The 19-year-old Klein, the 2007 junior Australian Open champion, was handed the suspension and fined $10,000 for the slur against Raven Klaasen during a qualifying match at a grass-court tournament at Birmingham, England on June 13.
"I sincerely regret my error in judgment in using the language I did and I am deeply sorry for the offense caused," Klein said in a statement on Friday. "I am accepting of the ATP's ruling and am now looking to put the whole incident behind me."
The ATP said Klein was also given a euro10,000 ($14,000) penalty on site during the tournament.
Klein has been suspended from the ATP World Tour and Challenger events for six months, although two months of that will be served in probation should he successfully complete the racial sensitivity course.
Klein's suspension begins on July 20, leaving him free to contest an ATP Challenger Tour event in Manchester, England next week. "I will undergo a racial sensitivity course and am determined to learn from this mistake," Klein said. "I plan to do everything I can to grow as a person and later as a tennis player by improving myself both off and on the court over the next four months." Klein, who made his Davis Cup debut for Australia in March, was previously suspended from the Australian Institute of Sport after repeated on-court misbehavior.
Klein, currently ranked No. 186, was found guilty of aggravated behavior under the ATP Code of Conduct.
"The incident was deemed to have been 'behavior that is flagrant and particularly injurious to the success of a tournament or is singularly egregious,"' the ATP said in a statement on Thursday.