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Agnieszka Radwanska dumped by Catholic group after nude photoshoot

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Tennis star Agnieszka Radwanska has been dropped by a Catholic youth organisation in her native Poland because she stripped off for a magazine photoshoot.

Beaten Wimbledon semi-finalist Radwanska, 24, is the world number four tennis player and was asked by ESPN’s magazine to feature in their 'Body Issue', which is an annual celebration of athletic physiques.

The snap itself was fairly tasteful, with Radwanska posing coyly by a swimming pool filled with tennis balls. Her private parts are carefully concealed, with the overall impact little racier than a swimsuit shoot.

A spokeswoman for the magazine said it was paying "homage to the vast potential of the athletic form, demonstrated through creative photography... showcasing photos that celebrate sport's most prized physiques, both male and female".

However, the Krucjata Mlodych (which translates as the not-at-all scary 'Youth Crusade') took a dim view of their ambassador public displaying her full athletic form.

"It's a shame that someone who has declared their love for Jesus is now promoting the mentality of men looking at a woman as a thing rather than a child of God worthy of respect and love," Father Marek Dziewiecki said

"If she meets a man who she can truly love and establish a happy family and raise Catholic children, then she would probably have to hide these pictures from relatives."

The group's response is not entirely surprising – their website describes "young lay Catholics… acting in defence of Christian heritage in an increasingly pagan world.

"We fight for the restitution of Poland's Catholic identity in society and the law", the mission statement adds.

The group also demands punishment for blasphemy, promotion of God in the media, and the freedom of the Catholic Church to perform its work without state intervention.

But our colleague in Poland, Peter Kwiatkowski, told us that he believed it could be a publicity-seeking exercise from the organisation.

"For me it's a totally anonymous group," he said, "and maybe they wanted to be more well-known so they made a big move by excluding her.

"And now they are the big winners in this, because people are writing about them."

Kwiatkowski added that Radwanska, while very popular in her homeland, is also divisive.

"Radwanska is controversial in Poland. It's as if half the people talk of her with blind admiration, and the other half hate her every act. There is no middle ground!

"Anyway, I believe God made us like Radwanska showed. I think He would be proud that He created such a beautiful body. Wouldn't you agree, if that's your faith?"

ESPN The Mag kindly let us show you the photo in question - so you can make your own minds up.

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[Credit: Agnieszka Radwanska by Alan Clarke, for ESPN The Mag]

Click here to see all the Body Issue photos.

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