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Russian player Zvonareva blocked from entering Poland

Reuters SPORTS
Published July 22,2023

Russian tennis player Vera Zvonareva was blocked on Friday from entering Poland for reasons of state security and public safety, the Polish interior ministry said on Saturday.

The 38-year old, a bronze medallist at 2008 Olympics in Beijing, was on the list of players of the BNP Paribas Warsaw Open tournament starting on Monday.

"The Border Guard prevented a Russian tennis player from entering Poland. Vera Zvonareva, using a visa issued by France, tried to get into our country on a flight from Belgrade to Warsaw," the ministry said in a statement.

"After arriving from Serbia, the tennis player stayed in the transit zone of Warsaw Chopin Airport and today after 1200 she flew to Podgorica."

Zvonareva is on a list of people considered undesirable on the territory of Poland, the ministry said.

Poland has become one of Ukraine's staunchest allies since Russia invaded the country in 2022 and it has been refusing entry to people who support the actions of Russia and Belarus.

The organisers of the tournament did not immediately reply to an emailed request for comment.