Paris 2024, after Rublev also Sabalenka: what’s behind the Russian and Belarusian tennis players’ no to the Olympics

Paris 2024, after Rublev also Sabalenka: what’s behind the Russian and Belarusian tennis players’ no to the Olympics

Tennis at Olympic Games it loses pieces and the reason is the sacrifices of the athletes Russians e Belarusians. After number 6 in the world Andrey Rublevalso the star of the women’s circuit Aryna Sabalenka (number 2 in the WTA ranking) has announced his no to Paris 2024. More than a lump sum, in fact, it is a real renunciation of the Games: “I have to sacrifice something, given the difficulties I have faced in recent months. I prefer rest a little to make sure I’m ready physically for the American hard court season. I feel like this decision is the best for my body,” explained Belarusian Sabalenka. Her announcement comes precisely following those of the Russians Rublev, Karen Khachanov e Lyudmila Samsonova. To date, only the participation of Daniel Medvedev it’s still in doubt. Because Russian and Belarusian tennis players are giving up at Paris Olympics, making excuses related to physical preparation and the calendar? Behind these decisions there are at least two different scenarios.

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The rules imposed by the IOC
First of all, it is good to remember that, following theinvasion of Ukraine decided by Vladimir Putin In the February 2022there are some in force sanctions imposed by International Olympic Committee (That is) towards the Russia and his ally Belarus. Moscow and Minsk have in fact been formally excluded from the Paris 2024 Games. As decided by the IOC executive committee in March, Russian and Belarusian athletes can only participate in individual title and how athletes neutral, without national symbols or anthems, and were excluded from the opening ceremony. They must also demonstrate that do not support the war in Ukraine and not be affiliated with bodies military. All team sports are excluded. Moreover, in the Olympics they can participate to the maximum 54 Russian athletes e 28 Belarusianswhile in 2021 in Tokyo there were 330 Russian athletes (who competed as Roc – Russian Olympic Committee – following the scandal doping), the Belarusian ones 104.

Under these conditions, it is not such a fascinating prospect for Russian and Belarusian tennis players to take part in Paris 2024 Games. The victory of one is already in itself in tennis Slam It’s definitely worth more than one gold medal Olympic. For Rublev and Sabalenka, moreover, the competition loses much of its charm. But there is also another issue linked precisely to the “places” available. Probably the tennis players, to avoid problems, preferred there to be room for other disciplines. For now, 14 Russian and 11 Belarusian athletes have received authorization from the IOC to participate as neutral athletes: the cyclist will lead the expedition Aleksander Vlasovtogether with colleagues Tamara Dronova e Alena Ivanchenko. In addition, there are three gymnasts, two Belarusians in weightlifting and well 10 participants in the fight.

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Political pressures
These reasonings linked more or less to sporting logic, however, must be placed in the context of Russian regime Of Vladimir Putin. After the IOC restrictions, the Russian government is showing hostility towards athletes who want to participate in the Games. Although there are officially no bans, the political pressures make it difficult for the Russians to decide to participate. Tennis players like Medvedev, Rublev and Sabalenka, who they live abroad, they have more margin for action. Rublev, for example, was one of the few CEOs expose yourself publicly against the guerra in Ukraine. But they are already in the sights of the Moscow regime: the president of the Russian Olympic Committee Stanislav Pozdnyakov he called the group of Russian tennis players “a team of foreign agents“.

An explicit threat. It’s a warning for everyone: no ban on going to Paris, but participating in the Olympics could be read as one decision anti-government. In Russia, public opinion and athletes are divided: some, like the swimmer Julia Efimovasee the Olympics as an unmissable opportunity, while others, such as the president of the Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation Irina Wines, support the boycott, believing that competing under conditions imposed by the IOC dehumanizes athletes. Some Russian athletes, such as swimmers Evgeny Rylov e Kliment Kolesnikovhave already declared that they do not want to accept the IOC conditions, openly supporting the Putin’s Russian regime and the guerra. The Russian Sports Minister himself, Oleg Matytsinsaid to be contrary to the boycott. But his position seems to be in the minority. In this framework, it remains impossible to date know how many Russian athletes they will be able to or they will have the courage to go to Paris. And the tennis players preferred to close the issue immediately, even at the cost of giving up the Olympics.

2024-06-17 16:36:39
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