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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Multiple Russian tennis stars withdraw from Paris Olympics

Five athletes have declined invitations to compete as neutrals, according to the International Olympic Committee

Several Russian tennis players will not compete at this year’s Summer Olympics in Paris despite receiving invitations, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confirmed.

When the Ukraine conflict began in February 2022, athletes from Russia and Belarus, a key ally of Moscow, were banned from many international sporting events.

In December 2023, however, the IOC decided to allow Russian and Belarusian individual athletes to compete in the Paris Games under neutral status on the condition they do not actively support the campaign in Ukraine and are not linked to the Russian military or law enforcement agencies.

The neutral delegation is barred from using their country’s anthems, flags or other national symbols — and they will not be allowed to participate in the opening ceremony of the games. Moscow has condemned the restrictions as discriminatory, saying they violate the Olympic ideals.

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Russian tennis player Andrey Rublev speaks with a line judge at the 2024 French Open at Roland Garros, May 31, 2024, Paris, France.
Russian tennis stars to skip Olympics – media

A number of high-ranking Russian tennis players did accept the invitations to compete, including Daniil Medvedev, Roman Safiullin, Ekaterina Aleksandrova, Mirra Andreeva, Pavel Kotov, and Diana Shnaider.

Several other stars, however, declined, including Andrey Rublev, Karen Khachanov, Daria Kasatkina, Liudmila Samsonova, and Anna Kalinskaia. Anastasia Potapova is listed as undecided.

The president of the Russian Tennis Federation (RTF), Shamil Tarpishchev, confirmed last month that Rublev, who is the world’s No. 6 in singles, would skip the Paris Olympics because he needs to recover after participating in numerous tournaments.

As for Khachanov, Russian sports outlet MatchTV earlier reported, citing sources, that he had health concerns due to a groin injury.

Tarpishchev also said that the federation had reached a practical agreement with the athletes that those who took part and won medals in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 would not compete in Paris. “The young athletes will be playing,” he said.

The 2024 Olympic Games will be held in Paris from July 26 to August 11.

July 02, 2024 at 06:43PM

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