Wimbledon Lifts Ban on Russian and Belarusian Tennis Players with Conditions

The All England Club, the leaders of Wimbledon, have changed their decision from the previous year and have allowed the Russian and Belarusian tennis players to participate in this year's prestigious tournament.

by Faruk Imamovic
SHARE
Wimbledon Lifts Ban on Russian and Belarusian Tennis Players with Conditions

The All England Club, the leaders of Wimbledon, have changed their decision from the previous year and have allowed the Russian and Belarusian tennis players to participate in this year's prestigious tournament. The players were banned last year due to the aggression of their respective countries against Ukraine.

However, the All England Club has now lifted the ban with two unique conditions.

Conditions for Participation

As in other tournaments, the Russians and Belarusians will have to play under a neutral flag. Additionally, the All England Club has established two further conditions that will prove to be challenging to meet.

The entry requirements for this year's event, one of tennis' four major tournaments, include a ban on "expressions of support for Russia's invasion of Ukraine." Furthermore, players who receive funding from the Russian or Belarusian state, including those receiving sponsorship from companies operated or controlled by them, will not be allowed to compete.

Statement from the All England Club and the ITF

Ian Hewitt, Chairman of the All England Club, issued a statement saying, "We continue to condemn totally Russia's illegal invasion and our wholehearted support remains with the people of Ukraine.

This was an incredibly difficult decision, not taken lightly or without a great deal of consideration for those who will be impacted." The ITF, the governing body of world tennis, also released a statement saying, "The ITF's position on this issue has been clear and consistent from the start and remains the same.

We acted swiftly to suspend the Russian Tennis Federation and Belarus Tennis Federation from ITF membership and from participation in ITF international competitions until further notice."

Joint Statement from the WTA and ATP

In a joint statement released on Friday, the WTA and ATP said, "It has taken a collaborative effort across the sport to arrive at a workable solution which protects the fairness of the game." The statement added, "This remains an extremely difficult situation and we would like to thank Wimbledon and the LTA for their efforts in reaching this outcome, while reiterating our unequivocal condemnation of Russia's war on Ukraine." This year's Wimbledon starts on July 3, with the title being defended by Novak Djokovic and Elena Ribakina.

Wimbledon Russia
SHARE