Svitolina, Kostyuk, Tsurenko call for further ban for Russian and Belarusian players who fail to denounce war in Ukraine after Wimbledon news

Amid the ban from Wimbledon for Russian and Belarusian players including Daniil Medvedev, Aryna Sabalenka and Victoria Azarenka this morning, some of Ukraine's top tennis stars including Elina Svitolina, Marta Kostyuk and Lesia Tsurenko have released a joint statement.

In this statement, they have demanded the ATP, WTA and ITF to ask players if they support the war and their political leaders and if they do, or no answer is forthcoming for further bans and sanctions to be imposed.

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Part of the statement said the following:

"As athletes we live a life in the public eye and therefore have an enormous responsibility. Some of our posts and opinions reach an audience larger than those of regional television stations. In times of crisis, silence means agreeing with what is happening.

"We noticed that some Russian and Belarusian players at some point vaguely mentioned the war, but never clearly stating that Russia and Belarus started it on the territory of Ukraine.

"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 homeland."

"We demand the WTA, ATP and ITF make sure that players who represent Russia and Belarus answer the following questions:

1. Do you support Russia's and Belarus invasion in Ukraine's territory and as a result of that the war started by those countries?

2. Do you support Russia's and Belarus military activities in Ukraine?

3. Do you support Putin's and Lukashenko's regime?

"If applicable, we demand to exclude and ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing in any international event, as Wimbledon have already done. There comes a time when silence is betrayal and that time is now."

Read more about:
WTA Elina Svitolina Marta Kostyuk

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