Latvian Government Sparks Outrage Among Tennis Fans Over Jelena Ostapenko’s Financial Aid Cut
Jelena Ostapenko, the former Roland Garros champion, and other Latvian athletes have been stripped of their financial aid for competing in tournaments that allow Russian and Belarusian players. The decision by the Latvian government has left tennis fans shocked and outraged.
The Latvian Olympic Committee recently announced that Ostapenko, along with fellow tennis players Daniela Vismane and Darja Semenistaja, and two Latvian cyclists, would no longer receive their monthly Olympian payments from March. The athletes will only receive payments when they represent Latvia in tournaments that ban players from Russia and Belarus.
BREAKING: Jelena Ostapenko will reportedly be cut from funding by the Latvian government pic.twitter.com/lbisOT0OGp— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) February 27, 2023
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Russia and Belarus have faced condemnation on a global scale. Latvian athletes are now experiencing the impact of this as they are effectively prohibited from participating in tournaments that allow players from Russia and Belarus. The decision by the Latvian government has sparked angered reactions from tennis fans.
While the financial impact on Ostapenko may be minimal, with career earnings of over $12 million, the punishment is deemed unreasonable by many. Ostapenko has helped put Latvia on the world map when it comes to tennis and this decision is seen as a betrayal by her and her fellow athletes. Other lower-ranked Latvian players such as Daniela Vismane and Darja Semenistaja will be significantly affected.
The Latvian Olympic Committee and the Ministry of Education and Science have decided to stop funding their country’s athletes who participate in competitions that allow the participation of athletes from Russia and Belarus. The decision has been criticized for punishing athletes for something that is not their fault.
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The decision by the Latvian government has sparked outrage among tennis fans who believe that the punishment is unfair and unjustified. The move also threatens to undermine Latvia’s reputation as a supporter of its athletes, especially those who have achieved international success.
Welcome to my country pic.twitter.com/lbisOT0OGp— Krista (@BwehRublev) February 27, 2023
Their hate of anything related with Russians makes them attack their own athletes, ridiculous stuff, pathetic pic.twitter.com/lbisOT0OGp— JP (@NardinPedro) February 27, 2023