Tennis: Probe under way after British coach's conviction for underage sex abuse

London (AFP) - British tennis chiefs have issued an apology and will instigate an independent inquiry after a coach in Wales was jailed earlier this year for sexually abusing an underage player.

Daniel Sanders, who once partnered Britain's former world No. 4 Tim Henman in doubles and reportedly coached Jamie Murray for a time, was sentenced to six years behind bars in July after admitting eight counts of sexual activity with a child.

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), the governing body of the sport in Britain, accepted its actions to protect children playing the game were "not enough" in this case.

"Nothing is more important to us than the safety of children who play tennis," a statement on the LTA website read.

"Creating a secure, respectful environment for those in our sport is our top priority as an organisation.

"We have always been committed to having the best safeguarding procedures possible at every level of the game, but in this case, the actions we took were not enough, and we apologise sincerely for the impact on all those affected."

The LTA said it had decided to undertake a "wide-ranging, independent inquiry into Wrexham Tennis Centre and this case".

"We are also continuing to engage and work with those who have been directly affected by what happened to ensure they have the support they need and that we, and tennis clubs nationwide, set and uphold the highest standards possible in this area," the statement added.

English football's governing body, the Football Association, is currently carrying out an independent inquiry into historical child sex abuse in the game.

Several former professional players have come forward publicly to allege abuse at the hands of youth coaches after retired footballer Andy Woodward revealed last year he was abused by a convicted child molester at Crewe Alexandra.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.