GENERICO.ruSportHave you renounced Lukashenko and been left with nothing? How Sabalenka destroyed her dream

Have you renounced Lukashenko and been left with nothing? How Sabalenka destroyed her dream

The second racket of the world Aryna Sabalenka risks missing the Olympic Games in Paris due to the support of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. It’s funny, but the athlete herself publicly disowned him six months ago, and now she’s left with nothing. It would seem, what does Elena Isinbayeva have to do with it?
Signed the letter and took a photo with Lukashenko. Sobolenko is a world tennis star, who last year jumped to the first line of the WTA rankings. She is one of the best, if not the best, athlete in the country. At the same time, in recent years, Arina has not been consistent in her views and seems to be trying to please both her native Belarus and the West, where she is now earning a lot of money.

It all started back in 2020, when the opposition organized rallies against Lukashenko. That summer, Sabalenka was with the protesters. Already in October, Arina said that she would not take either side, but already in the winter of that year she signed a letter from the athletes in support of the head of state.

That document was a response to an appeal from another group of athletes calling for new “fair elections.” Thus, Sabalenka clearly came to Lukashenko’s defense, otherwise her signature on the letter cannot be interpreted. Arina also regularly appeared at joint events with the president, including New Year celebrations. There are many photos together. In general, there could be no doubt about her position.
“Right now I don’t support Lukashenko.” She didn’t say anything against the government of Belarus even after the start of the SVO in Ukraine, although at all press conferences journalists provoked her in every possible way and literally begged for the answer they needed. Everything changed during Roland Garros in 2023, when the press finally forced her to speak out.

"We played the Fed Cup in Belarus. The President attended matches and took pictures with us. I can only say that I don’t want my country to be involved in conflicts. At the same time, I don’t want sports to be mixed with politics, because I’m just a 25-year-old tennis player. I don't want to get involved in politics, I just want to play tennis. Right now I don’t support Lukashenko,” Sabalenka said.

Trying to be good to everyone seemed funny, especially the “right now” line. Nevertheless, Arina still said out loud a phrase about the lack of support for Lukashenko. She actually disowned the president of her home country, with whom she apparently previously had a good relationship. It is likely that they have survived to this day, they have simply left the public field. It is no coincidence that Lukashenko solemnly congratulated Sabalenka on her victory at the Australian Open just a couple of months ago.

"Congratulations on your confident defense of the Australian Open title. Victory at the Grand Slam tournament a huge personal achievement, a source of national pride, a wonderful incentive and example for thousands of children in Belarus and around the world. I thank everyone involved in this triumph. I wish you good health and new successes,” the president’s press service quoted him as saying.

The sad outcome is near. It all ended with the fact that the country's best tennis player may not be allowed to attend the Olympic Games in Paris. According to Tennis Up to Date, Sabalenka, along with compatriot Victoria Azarenka, were not included in the list of neutral athletes who will perform in the French capital. The reason is the same connection with President Lukashenko, joint photographs and a letter in his support.

It turns out that Arina will lose the chance to become an Olympic champion. She was quite capable of achieving victory with the right preparation. And so she loses, if not everything, then a lot. Of course, such actions do not look good on the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which could commit another abomination. But with those, everything has long been clear. Although the organization itself has not yet officially confirmed the denial of admission to Belarusians. When contacted, an IOC spokesperson said that at the moment they have not yet excluded anyone. But this, as Arina herself said, “right now.” We'll see what happens next.
The situation with Sabalenka is painfully reminiscent of the story of our Olympic champion Elena Isinbayeva, who was (and for many remains) a legend of world sports. Millions of Russians were rooting for her, and then she crossed out all the positive impressions of herself by saying wild things on social networks.
She completely forgot about her connection with Russia and its army, essentially committing betrayal for the sake of a warm place in the IOC. And she clearly lost. At the very least, returning home now looks unlikely and simply unrealistic. It looks like Sabalenka may choose a similar path, although the Belarusian still has a chance to come to her senses.

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