Ukrainian tennis player Oleg Prikhodko spoke out against the condemnation of Russian athletes in response to a question about joint performances in tandem with Russian Yan Bondarevsky in the spring of 2022.
“I believe that the condemnation of athletes only ignites the conflict. Thus, we begin to organize a war on the court and beyond, forgetting the basic principle of sport,” quotes the words of Prikhodko “Great tennis of Ukraine“.
The 25-year-old athlete said that the Tennis Federation of Ukraine (FTR) recommended that he not play in tandem with Russian Yan Bondarevsky, but he decided to continue playing.
“I played a couple with a Russian tennis player, because he is my friend. And I played a couple with my friend, because nationality does not matter to me. I think that a person should be judged for his actions, and not according to his nationality,” explained Prikhodko.
The Ukrainian expressed regret that the federation uses “the experience of dissidents in the Soviet era, when people were condemned for disagreeing with public views.” At the same time, he added that he has quite a few friends in Russia, including his Russian girlfriend.
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