Misc Tennis

Daniil Medvedev among Russian athletes to accept Paris invite

Daniil Medvedev among Russian athletes to accept Paris invite

Tokyo doubles gold medalist Andrey Rublev and fellow tennis players Daria Kasatkina and Anna Kalinskaya are among 12 Russians and Belarusians who have turned down invitations to compete as neutral athletes at the Paris Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) published an updated list of neutral athletes on Monday, with 2021 US Open tennis champion Daniil Medvedev and world No. 22 Ekaterina Alexandrova among the 31 who had accepted.

Athletes from Russia and Belarus, Moscow’s closest ally in the 2022 invasion of Ukraine, are barred from the Paris Games except for the few who will compete as neutral athletes without flags or anthems.

The athletes have been carefully vetted by an IOC panel to ensure they have no connection to the military.

Russia has denounced the restrictions as discriminatory. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said the IOC was slipping “into racism and neo-Nazism.”

Russian Tennis Federation chief Shamil Tarpishchev said last month that Rublev would be skipping the Games for health reasons. Tokyo singles silver medalist Karen Khachanov and Liudmila Samsonova had already turned down the opportunity to play.

U.S.-based Belarusian Victoria Azarenka, who won a doubles gold and singles bronze in London in 2012, has accepted an invitation. Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka, also from Belarus has not yet accepted or declined, but she pulled out of Wimbledon on Monday because of a shoulder injury.

Gymnast Ivan Litvinovich, who won gold for Belarus in the trampoline in Tokyo three years ago, and Russian canoeist Alexey Korovashkov, a bronze medalist in London, were also among the athletes who have accepted the IOC’s invitations.

The Paris Olympics take place from July 26-Aug. 11, with the tennis tournament running from July 27-Aug. 4 at Roland Garros, the home of the French Open.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at www.espn.com – TENNIS…