Player deported from Prague while others warned to stay away further fuels ban controversy in WTA tennis

Monday, 31 July 2023 at 09:15
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After issues with the Warsaw Open seeing Vera Zvonareva being deported on attempting to enter the country to play the tournament, the Prague Open are the latest to be embroiled in controversy surrounding Russian and Belarusian players.
Reports broke on Friday evening of a player being deported and turned round immediately on attempting to land in Prague. That player has now been confirmed as Evgeniya Rodina.
Others such as Erika Andreeva, sister of Mirra (who is pictured), Polina Kudermetova and Diana Shnaider were told to stay away from qualifying. While Aliaksandra Sasnovich was due to play main draw.
This after the instance with Rodina and she was supposedly the first to arrive in the country meaning barring if these players have planned to travel, no more instances should now occur.
But with WTA players with these nationalities allowed to compete under neutral banners, it throws up questions about whether this will be an ongoing theme and what the organisation will do to solve it.
The statement from the WTA said the following:
"The WTA emphatically condemns the war in Ukraine and the reprehensible actions of the Russian government. 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."

BREAKING: Czechia has deported the Russian tennis player Evgeniya Rodina from the country. The Russian was turned around immediately after landing in Prague. She planned on playing the Prague Open. WTA has complained to the Czech authorities about the deportation. 🇨🇿🇺🇦


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