Becker drops bankruptcy immunity claim

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Boris BeckerImage copyright
PA

Ex-tennis champion Boris Becker has dropped his claim to have diplomatic immunity from bankruptcy.

The three-time Wimbledon winner had said his appointment as a Central African Republic (CAR) diplomat gave him protection from any legal claims.

Declared bankrupt in 2017 over money owed to bank Arbuthnot Latham, he was being pressed for “further assets”.

After a hearing in London, Mr Becker abandoned his case and his bankruptcy has been extended indefinitely.

His withdrawal means a planned auction of his trophies and memorabilia will go ahead.

The items for sale, which are worth an estimated £200,000, include a certificate commemorating his men’s doubles gold medal win with Michael Stich in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and a lot containing a sweater, wristbands and socks.

The conflict-ridden CAR is one of the world’s poorest countries.

It made Mr Becker a sport and culture attache to the EU in April 2018.

Mr Becker was declared bankrupt after Arbuthnot Latham claimed he owed them a large sum for more than two years.

However lawyers acting for the bankruptcy trustees told a specialist insolvency court on Monday that Mr Becker had written in an email that he had “no alternative but to abandon the claim for diplomatic immunity”.

The tennis star, who did not attend the hearing and was not represented by lawyers, also wrote that he was “not in a position” financially to pursue any part of his case.

The bankruptcy was due to be discharged in June but was put on hold to allow further investigation of Mr Becker’s claim of diplomatic immunity.

At the time, Mr Becker said: “This order relates to one disputed loan which I was due to repay in full in one month’s time.”

But a court registrar said Mr Becker gave the impression of “a man with his head in the sand”.

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Media captionBecker wins first Wimbledon aged 17

Mr Becker became the first German to win Wimbledon when he did so at the age of 17 in 1985.

He won it again in 1986 and 1989 among the 64 ATP Tour titles he claimed during a 15-year career.

After his retirement he became a pundit for the BBC.



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