Tanner Hendrickson: he got involved in a fight with Michael Rodrigues | Photo: Poullenot/WSL

The World Surf League (WSL) has provisionally suspended Tanner Hendrickson from all professional surfing competitions.

Yesterday, the Hawaiian attacked Championship Tour (CT) surfer Michael Rodrigues on the North Shore of Oahu. The WSL will now run a full investigation into the incident.

The Brazilian had just finished an interview for Canal Off when Hendrickson blocked him the way and started a fistfight.

As a result, Tanner Hendrickson was immediately removed from the Pipe Trials draw and won't be able to compete for a spot in the Pipe Masters.

Both surfers have been having problems with each other for a long time. The tension between the two athletes started in the Azores and built through to the US Open of Surfing.

Fines or Suspension

Hendrickson says that the fight was premeditated and that the Brazilian has been provoking him for a long time. Rodrigues has already spoken about the incident.

"I would like to say that I am exclusively focused on the competition here at Pipeline and my career as a professional surfer. Also, I repudiate all acts of violence against me or any other living being," Michael said.

"Nothing justifies the aggression I have received, so I feel obliged to take all reasonable steps to ensure that unfortunate events such as these do not recur with me or against any other athlete and/or person."

"Finally, WSL has already demonstrated that surfing, as a top-level sport, no longer tolerates this type of behavior. I hope this fact doesn't negatively affect surfing, let alone my career. I'm a surfer and an athlete!" concludes the Brazilian surfer.

Michael Rodrigues, 24, hails from Fortaleza.

He joined the CT as a rookie in 2018, and his best results were two fifth-place finishes in the Gold Coast and Rio de Janeiro. Rodrigues is 14th on the CT rankings.

Tanner Hendrickson has been competing in the Qualifying Series (QS) since 2009. This year, the surfer from Maui finished the QS season in 26th place.

The WSL Rule Book underlines that "all forms of shoving, fighting, mutual combat or the like are considered violations" of Article 184.

Surfers involved in an incident of physical assault will be subject to either monetary fines and disqualification or suspension and expulsion.

Meanwhile, a surf fan named Richard Ciesco is raising funds to help Tanner pay his fine. The goal is $5,000, even though the WSL hasn't yet announced the fine.

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