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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Panel: Tax Collectors Were 'Lenient' With Grafs

STUTTGART, Germany -- A state parliamentary committee delving into alleged tax evasion by tennis star Steffi Graf and her father wound up its probe saying tax officials were too lenient.


A vote by the 11-member, multi-party committee, which had been investigating the case since October, decided by 6 to 5 on Tuesday that the Grafs were allowed privileges.


The five votes against the decision were cast by members of the conservative Christian Democrats, the strongest party in the Baden-Wuerttemberg state parliament, to which state Finance Minister Gerhard Meyer-Vorfelder belongs.


Meyer-Vorfelder testified last year before the committee that he had had contact with the Grafs, but never gave them special tax considerations.


The committee said that while it had found no convincing evidence that high political influence was involved in favoring the Grafs, tax authorities handling their case let it drag out for years.


Graf's father, Peter Graf, was arrested Aug. 2, and remains in prison in Mannheim.


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The captain of Russia's Davis Cup team, Anatoly Lepeshin, said Tuesday that players for the first match of 1996 will be the same ones who brought Russia to the finals for the past two years.


The first-round match, against Italy, will be played in Rome on Feb. 9 to 11 on a clay court.


Yevgeny Kafelnikov will play singles, along with either Alexander Volkov or Andrei Chesnokov. One of them will join Andrei Olkhovsky for doubles play.


Italian captain Adriano Panatta chose Renzo Furlan, Andrea Gaudenzi, ranked 25th in the world, Diego Nargiso and Stefano Pescosolido for his team.


The winner of the Rome round qualifies for the quarterfinals against the winner of South Africa vs. Austria.