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ATP and WTA Tennis Tours in a Fix After International Olympic Committee Advocates Ban on Russian Athletes

Published 02/28/2022, 3:19 PM EST

4 min read

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Over the past few days, the repercussions of the on-going Russia-Ukraine war has shown an impact on the sporting world. With several sporting personalities showing support in their own way, the latest information to emerge belongs to the International Olympic Committee as it will put both the ATP and WTA tennis tours in a spot of bother.

International Olympic Committee recommends exclusion of Russian athletes from international events

The IOC recommends sporting organizations to exclude all the Russian and Belarusian athletes from International events. These sanctions proposed by the committee is yet to get a response from the ATP, WTA and ITF organizations.


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The IOC also has withdrawn the Olympic order from Putin. It is the highest honor granted by the International Olympic Committee.


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This comes as a crucial move from the IOC with the onus now lying on ATP and WTA tours to take a call based on the on-going conflict between Russia and Ukraine. While both the tours are yet to provide a response, several Ukrainian tennis players requested their respective tours to come to a decision.

Svitolina and other Ukrainian players want WTA and ATP tennis tours to make Russian players as neutral athletes

Elina Svitolina, former world no.3 from Ukraine, decided to stop playing against Russian and Belarusian athletes as she wants these athletes to be made neutral by the WTA.

I believe the current situation requires a clear position from our organizations: ATP, WTA, and ITF. As such, we – Ukrainian players – requested to ATP, WTA and ITF to follow the recommendations of the IOC to accept Russian or Belarussian nationals only as neutral athletes.”


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Following the IOC recommendations, FIFA and UEFA confirmed Russia’s ban from football events in a meeting on Monday. Coming to tennis, Russian players like Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Andrey Rublev, and others have vouched for peace through their posts on social media.

USA Today via Reuters

While the IOC asked for organizations to exclude Russian and Belarusian athletes, the appeal from Svitolina and her fellow Ukrainian players are different. They only want the tours to remove the name ‘Russia’ before the player names and want them to play on the neutral front.


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The conflict keeps escalating with each passing day as the impact is seen on the sporting arena across the globe.



Sagar Ashtakoula

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Sagar Ashtakoula is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Sagar has completed his graduation in Electronics and Communication Engineering.