The ASP has announced that Jeremy Flores has been suspended from all competition until August 27, 2014. This means he’ll miss the Prime-series U.S. Open of Surfing, and the WCT Billabong Pro Tahiti—a venue at which Flores typically shines.
After a close (and debatable, if you’re so inclined) Round 2 loss to Sebastian Zietz ended his J-Bay Open, Flores reportedly stormed the ASP tower and confronted the judges in what the ASP are calling “an unsportsmanlike manner.” While sporadic outbursts of behaving in an unsportsmanlike manner toward the judges is a time-honored tradition of hot-blooded surfers on Tour (see: “The Great Sunny Garcia Muffin Throwing Incident of 1995”; Victor Ribas, Maldives 2001) Flores apparently crossed a line in this most recent episode, with one judge remarking that he’d never before witnessed that level of abuse. This isn’t Flores’ first run-in with the ASP disciplinary committee. Back in 2011, Flores and Sunny Garcia were disqualified from the Burleigh Breaka Pro after engaging in a whitewater fistfight with a local.
The ASP pondered Flores’ punishment for several days before announcing that he’ll miss the upcoming U.S. Open, a fairly important Prime series event, but more importantly, the Billabong Pro at Tahiti, which will likely send Flores to the WQS next season. He currently sits at 28th in the rankings, and missing out on two crucial and point-rich events will almost certainly detonate any plans he had for requalification during the back half of this year’s World Tour.
Flores has since issued written and verbal apologies to all parties involved. He’ll be back for the Hurley Pro at Trestles in September.