Russian tennis player Vitalia Diatchenko claims she is forced to miss this week's ITF event in France because she is stuck at the airport and treated "unfairly" just because she is Russian. Diatchenko, 32, signed up to compete at an ITF event in Calvi this week.
In the Calvi first round, Diatchenko drew Jessica Ponchet. In a lengthy message posted on her Instagram, Diatchenko said she is yet again missing a tournament just because she is experiencing problems related to her passport.
Diatchenko says she is 'treated unfairly' just because of her passport
"Travelling as a Russian citizen to Europe, I received only 14 days! visa (usually as an athlete I receive 2/3 years ). Also, this visa had to be through Spain as they were the only country that would issue this visa.
Therefore flight has to go through Spain, so other borders such as the one for my tournament will not let me fly unless through Spain. In reality, this means four flights instead of two! End of the story, slept in the airport, treated like a 3rd class citizen, spent a couple of thousand euros, now no possible way to make it to the tournament as no route because of airlines that won't carry Russians and the limited visa situation.
Finally, I have to withdraw and the only option is to return home and miss another event because of this situation. As a professional athlete who is playing without any flag and not representing any country, just trying to get on with life and follow a career that I have loved all my life, is this fair to athletes that have no association with any part of the unfortunate situation.
Hope to be free of politics, racism and nazism. Just peace and a clear sky please!" Diatchenko wrote on her Instagram Story. Last week, Diatchenko competed at an ITF event in Sharm El Sheikh. In Sharm El Sheikh, Diatchenko was beaten in the round-of-16.
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