Elina Svitolina reveals she asked the WTA how it was possible that Anastasia Gasanova was allowed to continue competing on the Tour “after promoting the Russian propaganda.” Last year, Russian tennis player Gasanova decided to “tell her side of the story.” In her message, Gasanova appeared to defend Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s “special military operation.”
âï¸ Russian tennis player Anastasia Gasanova started this week with a video & several stories on IG re Ukraine.
She mentioned “an armed coup in 2014” + said Kyiv “could have stopped firing” in Donetsk & Luhansk so there would be no “SMO” (=”special military operation”) â¬ï¸ thread pic.twitter.com/j8XYCX14Ds — Ukrainian Tennis • BTU (@ukrtennis_eng) October 15, 2022
Gasanova didn’t face any sanctions or fines for her comments.
Recently, Svitolina and several other WTA players had a meeting with the WTA, where they discussed the WTA’s position on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Svitolina asked how Gasanova was allowed to continue competing
“After Lesia Tsurenko’s conversation with Steve Simon, the question of approval of the Russian military aggression inside the tennis world gained a huge backlash and we simply had to figure out whether it is the real view of the WTA.
We have a very vivid example of how after months of murdering, looting, raping, kidnapping Ukrainians and seizing our territory Anastasia Gasanova still decided to promote all of this on her Instagram page by repeating Russia’s propaganda narratives about the war to justify the decision behind the invasion and all these crimes Russia commit on Ukrainian people.
My questions were, is this even normal, is it fine for the WTA that such a person stays on the tour? Is it fair towards the Ukrainian women and all other participants of the tour? In response, we heard the same answer as for Lesia’s and Marta’s questions – silence.
No arguments. No explanation. We will not leave this issue behind, because it is logically connected with the safety issue of Ukrainian women. If the Russians and Belarusians on the tour support or justify military aggression in the same way as Gasanova, it means that they wish Ukrainians, our relatives, our friends and ultimately us to be dead.
Is it the norm for the 21st century to stay in the same environment with such people? We are waiting for answers from WTA,” Svitolina said.
ð¬ Ukrainian tennis players had an online meeting with the WTA about the tour’s policy regarding Russia’s war against Ukraine & Steve Simon’s comments.
Meanwhile, Svitolina was out for 13 months before returning to action in Charleston. Svitolina is now set to compete at an ITF event in Chiasso.