Sergiy Stakhovsky Wimbledon 2015

Sporting Sanctions are ‘working’ but more needs to be done – Sergiy Stakhovsky

Former World number 31 Sergiy Stakhovsky, who has joined Ukrainian forces in fighting the Russian invasion, admits that sporting sanctions are not enough to stop Putin’s army.

Yesterday, the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) prepared a joint statement which outlined new guidelines for Russian and Belarusian players. They suspended the Russian Tennis Federation’s (RTF) and Belarus Tennis Federation’s (BTF) memberships of ITF and withdrew their participation from ITF international team events such as the Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup.

The organisations also suspended the WTA / ATP combined event, scheduled this October in Moscow. Players from Russia and Belarus have to compete under a neutral flag. These measures also align with FIFA and UEFA’s sanctions on Russian clubs and the national teams as they have been suspended from all competitions.

Despite the sanctions and suspensions, Sergiy Stakhovsky believes that more needs to be done. “The support and even the restrictions and sanctions of the Russian federation in terms of sport, culture, is great, it’s working. I’m very sure it’s working but it doesn’t stop him from what he’s doing and somebody needs to put a stop to him.”

He discussed the war further, adding, ”I would never in my life believe that they would invade on a full scale. But that’s what Russia’s agenda is – to deliver chaos and instability in Europe. We are being punished because we want a better life and are reaching out to Europe. I am not really sure we can have a person in today’s world who has the capability of nuclear weapons. We are not sure what he is going to do next”

Stakhovsky himself is one of several high profile athletes to join the fight in the Ukraine, with boxers such as Oleksandr Uysk and Vasily Lomanchenko also signing up to aid the war effort.

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