Elina Svitolina demands that Russian tennis players answer three questions or be excluded

Elina Svitolina

Elina Svitolina issued a lengthy statement on Wednesday (Photo: Robert Prange / Getty Images)

Ukrainian tennis star Elina Svitolina has called on the governing bodies of tennis to ban Russian and Belarusian players from tournaments that have failed to condemn Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

Her prayer to people like the ITF, ATP and WTA came before Wimbledon announced today that Russian and Belarusian players will be excluded from the tennis tournament this summer in light of the war in Ukraine.

This means that the men’s world No. 2, Daniil Medvedev from Russia, and the women’s world No. 4, Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus, will be among those who can not compete.

Earlier today, world No. 25 Svitolina issued an emotional statement about the ongoing war in her home country, believing that even the Russian and Belarusian players who have remained silent about the conflict should be punished.

“We have noticed that some Russian and Belarusian players at one point vaguely mentioned the war, but never clearly stated that Russia and Belarus started it on Ukrainian territory,” she wrote.

“The very silence of those who choose to remain that way right now is unbearable as it leads to the continuation of murder in our home country.

‘We demand that the WTA, ATP and ITF ensure that players representing Russia and Belarus answer the following questions:

‘1. Do you support Russia’s and Belarus’ invasion of Ukrainian territory and as a result of the war started by these countries?

‘2. Do you support the military activities of Russia and Belarus in Ukraine?

‘3. Do you support Putin and Lukashenko’s regime? ”

‘If relevant, we demand to exclude and ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing in any event.

‘In times of crisis, silence means agreeing with what is happening.

‘There comes a time when silence is betrayal, and that time is now.’

While Wimbledon has become the first Grand Slam tournament to clarify its position, the French Open, which begins in May, will allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete.

At present, players from both countries have been allowed to compete on the tennis tour, but not under their national flags.

MORE: Daniil Medvedev out of Wimbledon as Russians and Belarusians were barred from competing

MORE: Kim Clijsters withdraws from women’s tennis tour for third time

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