Veronika Kudermetova claims that she has no formal link to CSKA
World No 13 Veronika Kudermetova has moved to clarify her relationship with the Central Army Sports Club Moscow commonly known as CSKA.
The club holds a prominent position in Russian sport having produced 463 Olympic champions across many different sports. They field teams in over 40 sports and have unparalleled facilities in the area.
Kudermetova trained at the club, which has strong links to the army, during her youth but says that she hasn’t trained there for some time.
She further added that she does not hold a membership with the club nor is she employed by them in any way, according to her latest statements.
There have been fresh calls for a ban on Russian athletes, now targeting those with any affiliation to CSKA.
While Russia continues its military aggression in Ukraine, Kudermetova has stated that she does not receive funding from the CSKA. Her comments follow the Ukrainian tennis federation’s (FTU) recent proposal to ban people with ties to the club, particularly identifying Kudermetova in their statement.
“When I was young, I was practising there,” Kudermetova told reporters in Madrid.
“It was my tennis club – when I was in Moscow I practised there, but for the moment I am not practising there.
“I don’t have a contract with them, I don’t have a salary from them – for the moment we are separate.”
It is unknown when or indeed if Kudermetova parted ways with the CSKA. Last December, Ukrainian tennis portal BTU published a document on social media that listed her as a member at the time.
Kudermetova, in addition to her reported links to CSKA, continues to represent Tatneft on the Tour. The European Union has sanctioned the Russian oil and gas corporation for supplying the Russian army. She is now permitted to do so on the WTA Tour, but it may be a different story at Wimbledon, which has said that players are not permitted to express support for the Russian leadership. Those who get state money are likewise barred from participating.
She has insisted that she has not been asked to remove her sponsors’ logo while competing on the WTA Tour.
“For the moment, I don’t break a rule,” Kudermetova added.
“For Wimbledon, yes, I know we are not allowed to wear badges from our country. I agree with that, but for the moment I can wear that badge.
“If I would like to play Wimbledon, I need to take the badge off.”
Kudermetova will face Jessica Pegula in the Madrid Open quarter-finals on Wednesday.
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