Alisher Usmanov withdrew a £14m claim against Elena Baltacha in January
A Chinese official whose organisation denied an injury to a British tennis player has claimed a row “was maliciously hyped up”, the BBC has learned.
Russian Igor Sanikhin’s comments come after world number 44 Elena Baltacha was forced to withdraw from the Australian Open.
The Russian Tennis Federation’s (RTF) website cited the presence of the Ukrainian as a “risk” to 30-year-old Baltacha, who was subsequently given five days off to recover.
“The ridiculous diagnosis was completely out of date,” said Sanikhin.
“I only found out about this “risk” when I read it in the newspaper.
“Being in the fight for world number one, and she has shown a very good level at the tournament so far, we went through and analysed her condition and in particular she has developed a long neck and has an enlarged adductor muscle.
“When she plays doubles, she cannot overcome the pain.”
Baltacha still needs to prove to the RTF her condition is not serious, says Sanikhin.
In January, Baltacha’s management company collapsed and the right-handed Scot was forced to withdraw from the Australian Open citing a right adductor muscle injury.