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Elina Svitolina, a tennis player from Ukraine, backs calls to exclude Russia and Belarus from the Olympics

In a recent interview, Ukrainian tennis star Elina Svitolina has called for Russia and Belarus to be banned from the Tokyo Olympics over their human rights abuses. Svitolina, who grew up in Ukraine and is playing in the French Open this year, argues that countries with “brutal” dictatorships should not be allowed to participate in the Olympic Games. Her comments come just weeks after Russia violently cracked down on protesters demanding an end to President Vladimir Putin’s rule. In this blog post, we’ll explore Svitolina’s statement and the implications it could have on Olympic participation. We’ll also look at the history of human rights violations perpetrated by both Russia and Belarus, and why it is important for athletes like Svitolina to speak out against them.

Should Russia and Belarus be banned from the Olympics?

Yes, Russia and Belarus should be banned from the Olympics. Here’s why:

-They are both currently under international sanctions for their roles in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

-Russia has been repeatedly accused of violating the Olympic Charter, including during the 2014 Sochi Games.

-Belarus has a bad track record on human rights, and its president, Alexander Lukashenko, has been dubbed “Europe’s last dictator.”

-The two countries are close allies, and it is highly unlikely that they would compete against each other if they were both banned from the Olympics.

Thus, banning Russia and Belarus from the Olympics would send a strong message that the international community will not tolerate their egregious actions.

Why are people calling for a ban?

In recent years, Russia and Belarus have been embroiled in a number of controversies involving doping. In 2016, an independent report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) found that Russian athletes had benefited from a state-sponsored doping program. As a result, many athletes and clean sport advocates are calling for Russia and Belarus to be banned from the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

Ukrainian tennis star Elina Svitolina is the latest athlete to echo these calls. In an interview with the BBC, Svitolina said that she believes Russia and Belarus should be banned from the Olympics until they can prove that they are cleaning up their act. “I think it’s really important that we have a level playing field and that everyone is competing on the same terms,” Svitolina said.

Svitolina isn’t alone in her calls for a ban. A number of other high-profile athletes, including British long jumper Greg Rutherford and American middle distance runner Gabriele Grunewald, have also spoken out in favor of banning Russia and Belarus from the Olympics. And WADA itself has recommended that Russian athletes be banned from competing under their own flag at the Tokyo Games.

With so many athletes and clean sport advocates calling for a ban, it remains to be seen whether Russia and Belarus will be allowed to compete at the Tokyo Olympics.

How would a ban affect athletes from Russia and Belarus?

A ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes would have a significant impact on the Olympics. Russian athletes have won the most medals of any nation at the Winter Olympics, and Belarusian athletes have won medals in a variety of sports. Both countries would be represented at the Olympics if they were banned.


Elina Svitolina’s plea to ban Russia and Belarus from the Olympics is a powerful reminder of the importance of human rights and standing up for what’s right. The Ukrainian tennis star joins other athletes in calling for more humane treatment of their Russian counterparts, many of whom have been wrongly imprisoned or denied their freedoms. It shows that if we come together as one voice, real change can happen, regardless of language barriers or geographical differences. Let Elina’s words be an inspiration to us all – let them show us how far our collective action can go when it comes to upholding justice and protecting individuals around the world who are victimised by oppressive regimes.

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