Russian tennis player Vera Zvonareva was blocked 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 the 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.
Zvonareva, who landed in Poland on Friday, is on a list of people considered undesirable there, the ministry said.
“After arriving from Serbia, the tennis player stayed in the transit zone of Warsaw Chopin Airport and today after 1200 hours she flew to Podgorica.”
The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) on Saturday said it was aware of the situation.
“The safety and well-being of all players is a top priority of the WTA,” it said in a statement.
“Vera has departed Poland and we will be evaluating the issue further with the event.”
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 tournament organisers did not immediately reply to an emailed request for comment.