Yannick Noah, who won the French Open tennis tournament last weekend, was suspended from competition for 49 days and fined $20,000 today for refusing to appear for two matches during the Nations' Cup tournament played last year.
The action was taken by the Men's International Professional Tennis Council and the suspension was scheduled to go into effect July 11, which will mean Noah will be able to play on the French Davis Cup team when it meets Paraguay July 8-10.
In addition, there was speculation that Guillermo Vilas could be suspended for up to a year by the MIPTC as a result of allegations that he accepted appearance money at a tournament in Rotterdam in March. Marshall Happer, administrator of the MIPTC, would not comment on the Vilas issue other than to say, "We have been considering a number of issues like that. Until the council meeting is over (Thursday), I have no comment."
Noah has 30 days to appeal his suspension. Even if it stands, he will be eligible to play in the U.S. Open; a 49-day suspension would end Aug. 29, the day America's premier tennis event begins.
The suspension will extend through the duration of the Wimbledon championships, but Noah was not planning to play there, anyway.
Noah played for France in the Nations' Cup in Dusseldorf, West Germany, along with countrymen Dominique Bedel and Bernard Fritz.
However, he commuted between Dusseldorf and Paris between each of his matches, losing to Russell Simpson of New Zealand and Jose Higueras of Spain.
After France had been eliminated from the tournament, Noah disappeared before a doubles match and then failed to show for a match against West German Damir Keretic, who was awarded a 6-0, 6-0 victory.
Noah was fined $6,000--$1,000 for his absence and $5,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Noah said said he missed his flight back to Dusseldorf because of tablets taken for a stomach disorder. The week following the Nations' Cup, Noah, 23, defeated Higueras to win the $250,000 German Open in Hamburg.
Then came his straight-set win in the French Open.