Ukraine's Svitolina calls on t...


Ukraine's Svitolina calls on tennis authorities to act on IOC Russia ban

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Elina Svitolina has called on tennis authorities to take immediate action following an IOC resolution to ban Russian and Belarussian athletes.

The International Olympic Committee took the extraordinary step in response to Russia's breach of the the Olympic Truce with the invasion of Ukraine.

Where an outright ban is unenforceable due to legal or time constraints, the IOC recommended that Russian and Belarussian athletes should only be accepted as neutral athletes, with no national symbols displayed.

Svitolina was due to play Russia's Anastasia Potapova on Tuesday in the first round of the latest WTA event in Monterrey, Mexico.

However, the world no.15 says she will not play Potapova, "nor any other match against Russian or Belarussian tennis players until our organizations (sic) take this necessary decision."

Another Russian - Anna Kalinskaya - is also due to be in first round action on Tuesday against China's Qinwen Zheng.

Svitolina says she doesn't blame Russian athletes for their country's invasion of Ukraine, and has thanked those who have spoken out against the actions of president, Vladimir Putin.

Elina Svitolina statement: 

I believe the current situation requires a clear position from our organizations (sic): ATP, WTA and ITF.

As such, we - Ukrainian players - requested to ATP, WTA and ITF to follow the recommendations of the IOC to accept Russian or Belarussian nationals only as neutral athletes, without displaying any national symbols, colours, flags or anthems.

Accordingly, I want to announce that I will not play tomorrow in Monterrey, nor any other match against Russian or Belarussian tennis players until our organizations (sic) take this necessary decision.

I do not blame any of the Russian athletes. They are not responsible for the invasion of our motherland.

Moreover, I wish to pay tribute to all the players, especially Russians and Belarussians, who bravely stated their position against the war. Their support is essential.

Elina Svitolina


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Daniil Medvedev Elina Svitolina Tennis

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