According to a source, London Times tennis correspondent Neil Harman has resigned from the International Tennis Writers Association. In an email to ITWA members on Wednesday, he admitted to plagiarizing material for the official Wimbledon Yearbook, which he was hired to write by the LTA:
I am writing to you as co-President to inform you that I have decided to resign from ITWA and do so with a heavy heart but it is clear that I have no alternative.
It has been brought to my attention that I have severely compromised my position as a member, having used unattributed material to form part of my writing of the Wimbledon Yearbook. There can be no excuse for such shoddy work, which I deeply regret. I did it without malice aforethought, but that I did it at all is simply inexcusable.
I sincerely had no idea the extent to which I had let the Club, myself and my colleagues down and feel it is only right that I relinquish my membership. This is a marked stain on my reputation and (I hope) good name.
When Wimbledon first informed me that they had been made aware of this lack of professionalism, I immediately told those British writers who were attending the Davis Cup tie in Naples. Since then, I realise that I had made several errors which are unconscionable. It is far better for all concerned that I resign my membership.
As a founder member of the association, I am exceedingly proud of its many achievements in opening up the game more to the media, our excellent facilities worldwide and the ability of our members to mingle more with players to the enhancement of our working practices. I relished my time as president, and believe I contributed much to the advancement of our profession.
But I have allowed my standards to slide, more than is acceptable.
As I am typing this, I see on Twitter an ‘inspirational quote’ which reads ‘the past cannot be changed, forgotten, edited or erased, it can only be accepted’. I hope that I remain accepted as part of the tennis-writing community I love so deeply, as much as I have wronged many of its members.
I wish you well in your future endeavours and may ITWA go from strength to strength. We have made great strides, the sport is better for a stronger media unit, I remain committed to the cause and always will be.
With sincere regards,
PS: I am more than happy for you to read this out at the next meeting.