|Sharapova is again facing criticism
for pulling out
Moscow: Russia’s Fed Cup captain has asked the ITF to move this week’s semi-final against the US to a neutral country after being unable to accompany his team to the American venue.
“The ITF regulations stipulate that a host country cannot deny entry to any official member of the visiting team,” Russia captain Shamil Tarpishchev said on Tuesday.
“But here we have a precedent where US authorities are simply denying me a visa to be with my team during this very important tie.”
Russia are to take on the US in Vermont on Saturday and Sunday
A spokesperson for the US embassy in Moscow said Tarpishchev’s application was being processed by US authorities in Washington.
“The Americans always like to talk about human rights and democracy but they are the first ones to deny others the same rights,” Tarpishchev said.
“US authorities have been targeting me for the past 10 years without any proof of any wrongdoing on my part. Just imagine what would happen if Russia had denied a visa to a US captain, it would have been a huge international scandal.
“We would have been the enemy number one but it seems like they (US) can get away with almost anything.”
Tarpishchev, who also serves as president of the Russian Tennis Federation (RTF) and is a member of the IOC said he had thought of pulling out of the tie but decided against a boycott.
Tarpishchev said he had sent a complaint to the US Olympic Committee and the IOC.
Meanwhile, Russian tennis officials have again accused Maria Sharapova of putting her own interests ahead of her country after she pulled out of the semi-final.
Russia’s chief tennis coach Vladimir Kamelzon has accused Sharapova’s entourage of discouraging the Florida-based Russian from playing for her native country.
Local media also questioned Sharapova’s Fed Cup commitment even before her pullout.