Elina Svitolina: Politics is very involved in Russian sports

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Elina Svitolina: Politics is very involved in Russian sports

Ukrainian tennis star Elina Svitolina thinks it's a nonsense when someone says Russian athletes shouldn't be paying the price for the actions of their government as she feels the politics is very much involved in Russian sports.

Last month, Wimbledon took a radical stance as they announced player bans for Russian and Belarusian players. Some of the biggest names of the game, including Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, have publicly stated that they do not support the Wimbledon decision.

Wimbledon has faced some criticism for their decision as the ATP and WTA have both made it clear they weren't too thriller with their decision. "Wimbledon made a decision which was required because Russian and Belarusians didn’t want to speak publicly [about the war]," Svitolina told insidethegames.

"For us, I think it is very important to know that there are no bad people among us. That is why if they cannot do that then unfortunately they have to be banned because propaganda of Russian sport is huge and politics are 100 per cent involved in sports in Russia.

As you can see from the situation with the doping, the politics is very involved in Russian sport. To have players representing Russia is very tough to see because seeing the invasion of the army to our country is very painful to see."

Svitolina out of action

After losing her openers in Indian Wells and Miami, Svitolina announced a break from tennis. The scenes from Ukraine have taken a big toll on Svitolina, who admitted to not being in the right mental space to go out and compete.

"Right now, the last few days have been so tough for my hometown of Odesa," Svitolina said. "It is being attacked and it is so tough to see. My home city where I spent my childhood getting bombed and on fire.

For now, it is impossible to perform." Svitolina is set to miss the whole clay season and there is no guarantee she will play during the grass season either.