Former world number 13 Alexandr Dolgopolov, who has recently joined his country’s armed forces to defend Ukraine from the Russian invasion, has called for Russian Athletes to be removed from competition.
This would include the newest world number one, Daniil Medvedev, who has openly condemned the war, as well as Andrey Rublev, who has made anti-war comments too.
“Letting them play just by saying a few words that they are against war, I don’t believe this is enough,” Dolgopolov said.
“I know all those guys personally. I even played Daniil when I was playing. They are nice guys but no offence to them – I believe Russia should be blocked from any participant in any sport, in any culture. I think every Russian is responsible for their government and their president.”
It echoes the sentiment of the president of Ukrainian tennis, Seva Kewlysch, who also called for the ban of Medvedev.
Sergiy Stakhovsky, another Ukrainian former tennis player has also joined the army since the start of the war, and has been trying to levy the support of tennis’ big names, with varying success.
WTA Boss, Steve Simon has said that “individual athletes should not be the ones penalised” by the actions of their government. He was speaking in response to comments from British sports minister Nigel Huddleston, suggesting that athletes would have to prove they don’t support Vladimir Putin or his war.