Misc Tennis

Russians Karen Khachanov, Liudmila Samsonova decline Olympic bids

Russians Karen Khachanov, Liudmila Samsonova decline Olympic bids

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Russian tennis players Karen Khachanov and Liudmila Samsonova have declined to play at the Paris Olympics, the IOC said Friday, and their next-highest-ranked compatriots were invited instead.

The IOC said Pavel Kotov, the 50th-ranked men’s player, and Anna Kalinskaya, ranked No. 17, were invited to join the eight-person Russian team in Paris. The players are competing as neutrals during the military invasion of Ukraine.

The Olympic tennis tournament will be held at Roland Garros from July 27 through Aug. 4.

The top two Russian men’s players, No. 5 Daniil Medvedev and No. 6 Andrey Rublev, had neither confirmed nor declined their invitations on the International Olympic Committee’s updated list Friday. Rublev is reportedly not going to Paris for health reasons.

Olympic invitations were accepted by Roman Safiullin and Ekaterina Alexsandrova, the IOC said.

Governing bodies of Olympic sports and the IOC are vetting individual athletes from Russia and its military ally Belarus to compete with neutral status in Paris.

Athletes are being blocked if they expressed support for the Russian invasion or had ties to sports clubs linked to the military or state security services.

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