All the Romanian women tennis players who were qualified for the Olympic Games in Tokyo withdraw from the competition less than a month before it starts. Thus, Romania won’t have any women tennis players to represent the country during the games. This comes as a surprise, especially after Simona Halep, number 3 on the WTA rankings, had expressed her desire to win the gold medal in Tokyo.
Tokyo Olympics 2020 was postponed from last year because of the pandemic. It is scheduled to start on July 23, 2021, but there are voices who ask for the games to be canceled. The reason for this unusual request is the evolution of the pandemic in Japan and the fear of the medical authorities in the hosting country that the games will only worsen the situation.
One by one, Simona Halep, number 3 on the WTA rankings, Sorana Cirstea, number 45 WTA, and Patricia Tig, number 63 WTA, withdraw from the competition. After all these three players gave up, another Romanian player became eligible: Ana Bogdan, number 92 WTA, but she also refused to take part in the Olympics. Apparently, Simona Halep has an unhealed injury at her calf, but all the other players were fit to play.
According to the former Romanian tennis player Ion Tiriac, the players refuse to go to Japan for fear of the pandemic. Also, he said that the Romanian women were scared of the restrictions imposed by the organizers.
The Romanian Ministry of Sport and the Romanian Olympic Committee are both investigating this unprecedented behavior of the sportswomen.