Russian Tennis Star: ‘Politics’ Behind Country’s Olympic Track & Field Ban

Kuznetsova Reuters

Russian tennis star Svetlana Kuznetsova said on Sunday that politics is the main reason that Russia’s track and field athletes were banned from this summer’s Olympics in Brazil.

According to the Associated Press, Kuznetsova was “asked at a post-match news conference about the IAAF ban on Russia’s track and field team for widespread doping in the country” and she said, “This is, for me, politics.”

She reportedly continued, “Suddenly everything has to go against Russia. Somebody in Russia, they’re all bad, and all the world is good.”

As the Associated Press noted, “the IAAF last month upheld the ban that was first imposed in November on Russian athletes following a report by a World Anti-Doping Agency panel that alleged state-sponsored doping. Russia is appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, contending the ban punishes athletes who haven’t done anything wrong.”

Kusnetsova, who will be attending the games and has won two Grand Slam titles, faces her friend Serena Williams, against whom she has had some success (Kuznetsova defeated Williams this year in Miami before Williams returned the favor in Italy), in a fourth-round Wimbledon battle.