WTA speaks up for Russian tennis player who was deported from Czech Republic

29 July, 10:34 AM
Women's Tennis Association (Photo:Photo by Jimmie48 Photography/WTA)

Women's Tennis Association (Photo:Photo by Jimmie48 Photography/WTA)

The Women's Tennis Association has issued a statement in defense of a Russian player who was deported from the Czech Republic on the orders of the country’s Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The association said players from Russia, which is waging a war of aggression against Ukraine, and Belarus, which has allowed Russia to attack Ukraine from its territory, have the right to participate in all WTA competitions if they play under a neutral flag, “solely on the basis of merit and without discrimination.”

Video of day

“The WTA emphatically condemns the war in Ukraine and the reprehensible actions of the Russian government,” the statement reads. “The WTA also continues to support the Tour’s Ukrainian athletes – as well as all WTA athletes – who face immense challenges as professional athletes while many of their loved ones and their country face attacks from Russia.”

“Individual WTA players whose nationality is Russian/Belarusian continue to compete on the Tour on a neutral basis. Despite their neutrality, some WTA players are being denied by Czech government authorities the ability to compete at the WTA 250 event scheduled to be held in Prague next week.

“WTA rules state that all players must be allowed to compete on the WTA based solely on merit, without discrimination. We will continue to review the situation as we factor important considerations around these complex geopolitical issues.”

Earlier, in June this year, the Czech government banned its athletes and teams from participating in competitions on the territory of the Russian Federation, and also banned Russian athletes and teams from participating in competitions on the territory of the Czech Republic.

Earlier it was reported that the Polish border guards did not let a Russian tennis player, Vira Zvonareva, into the country to compete in a tennis tournament in Warsaw. The Polish authorities said Zvonareva had been refused entry because “Poland consistently opposes the regime of (Russian dictator Vladimir) Putin and (Belarusian dictator Alexander) Lukashenko, not allowing persons who support the actions of Russia and Belarus into our country.”

Will you support Ukraine’s free press?

Dear reader, as all news organizations, we must balance the pressures of delivering timely, accurate, and relevant stories with requirements to fund our business operations.

As a Ukrainian-based media, we also have another responsibility – to amplify Ukraine’s voice to the world during the crucial moment of its existence as a political nation.

It’s the support of our readers that lets us continue doing our job. We keep our essential reporting free because we believe in our ultimate purpose: an independent, democratic Ukraine.

If you’re willing to support Ukraine, consider subscribing to our Patreon starting from 5$ per month. We are immensely grateful.

Please help us continue fighting Russian propaganda.

Truth can be hard to tell from fiction these days. Every viewpoint has its audience of backers and supporters, no matter how absurd.

If conscious disinformation is reinforced by state propaganda apparatus and budget, its outcomes may become deadly.

There is no solution to this, other than independent, honest, and accurate reporting.

We remain committed to empowering the Ukrainian voice to push against the muck. If you’re willing to stand up for the truth – consider supporting us on Patreon starting from 5$ per month. Thank you very much.

Will you help tell Ukraine’s story to the world?

Twenty years ago, most people hadn’t even heard of Ukraine. Today, the country is on everyone’s lips and everyone’s headlines. War pushed us on the front page. But there are many other things we do that we are proud of – from music and culture to technology.

We need your help to tell the world Ukrainian story of resilience, joy, and survival. If you’re willing to back our effort, consider supporting us on Patreon starting from 5$ per month. We are immensely grateful.

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google News

Ukraine Today
Fresh daily newsletter covering the top headlines and developments in Ukraine
Daily at 9am EST
Show more news