Russian athletes should not be 'penalized' for decisions of an 'authoritarian leadership', WTA exec says

Chief Executive Steve Simon told the BBC on Tuesday that the WTA does not intend to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing on tour unless something “significant” were to happen. 

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“You never know what the future may bring,” Simon said. “But I can tell you that we have never banned athletes from participating on our tour as the result of political positions their leadership may take.”

Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova celebrates after defeating Belarus's Victoria Azarenka during the French Open in Paris on June 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova celebrates after defeating Belarus’s Victoria Azarenka during the French Open in Paris on June 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

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