Russian teenager banned from tennis for nine months following anti-doping breach has said he is “sad” the sport is becoming more political.
In an interview with German newspaper Die Welt, Denis Istomin explained how he had used Twitter to share an anti-doping story which had been seized on by the authorities as a reason for his ban.
Istomin was initially banned from tennis following a positive drug test and has faced further accusations of using his social media accounts to spread anti-doping information.
He tweeted: “Today we’ve decided to take the doping scandal in tennis to the next level.
“I understand it’s easier to talk about [the doping story] in tennis than with the people who know nothing about it.”
In addition to suggesting that he was never involved, he also expressed support for WADA taking action against any Russian athletes who have been caught using drugs.
“I hope in time Russian tennis fans can understand that this is like a game of chess.
“It’s about a game of tennis,” he continued. “Not about tennis as a country or the game itself. Not about politics and not about anti-dengue campaigns or something like this.
“This is a question of life or death for our players. And for everyone.”
In an interview with German newspaper Die Welt, Denis Istomin said he had used Twitter to share an anti-doping story which had been seized on by the Authorities as a reason for his ban. Picture: Twitter
Istomin said he understood why the authorities seized the story because, in his view, it did not show any wrongdoing.
And that he was saddened the sport was becoming more political.
The 23-year-old said: “When I first heard about this case, the first thing I thought of was that this is like a game of chess. Because it’s not my problem.
“For the people who have played this game for five or six years they feel comfortable with this.
“We were the little guys who had to defend ourselves. And that’s why I’m sad about this.”
He said they would continue to communicate as they