Wimbledon Plans to Ban Russian, Belarusian Players

Officials participating in the men’s and women’s tours argued that Russian and Belarusian players should not be blamed for the occupation or their country’s policies, noting that many prominent players, including Russian star Andrey Rublev, placed 8th on the single men’s rankings. and Pavlyuchenkova opposed the war.

“I feel very strongly that these individual athletes should not be people punished by decisions of authoritarian leadership who have done blatantly terrible, reprehensible things,” WTA president Steve Simon said. In an interview with the BBC last month, he said:. But if that happens, which is again part of the overall strategy to make Russia and Russian citizens pay the price for their government’s decision, then that will not be something we support.”

Wimbledon, the oldest Grand Slam tournament, would likely be an outlier in this regard. The French Open, which begins next month and is the next Grand Slam tournament on the calendar, has not indicated its intention to block individual players. Neither is the US Open, which will be held in New York in late August and early September. For now, regular tour events — like this week’s events in Barcelona; Belgrade Serbia; Istanbul; and Stuttgart, Germany – draw with Russians and Belarusians.

But Wimbledon, which begins in London on 27 June, has seen serious pressure from the British government led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to take a stronger stance. British sports minister Nigel Huddleston said at a parliamentary session last month that Russian players love Medvedev. You may need to provide “assurance” He said they did not support President Vladimir V. Putin to play at Wimbledon.

But the tournament, arguably the sport’s most prestigious tournament, apparently decided against asking players to report their government out of concern that it could put themselves or their families in a dangerous situation. While a ban wasn’t part of Wimbledon officials’ initial thinking, it would prevent players from making such a choice.

Wimbledon did not ban individual athletes from certain countries since after WWII When players from Germany, Japan and other countries are not allowed to play in the tournament.

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