Wimbledon bans Russian and Belarusian players from upcoming tournament

“The LTA also recognizes that individual Russian and Belarusian players may disagree with their governments’ actions and this is a situation beyond their control,” the LTA said.

“Nevertheless, the national governing body believes it is important to do everything possible to support Ukraine at this time, and that this move has the support of the British public.”

The ban also prevents Andrey Rublev from playing.Credit:David Gray/Getty Images

But the ATP condemned the ban and signaled possible action in response.

“We believe that today’s unilateral decision by Wimbledon and the LTA to exclude players from Russia and Belarus from this year’s British grass swing is unfair and has the potential to set a damaging precedent for the game,” it said in a statement.

“Discrimination based on nationality also violates our agreement with Wimbledon which states that player input is based solely on ATP rankings.

Loading

“All actions taken in response to this decision will now be reviewed in consultation with our Board and Members’ Councils,” the statement said.

Medvedev’s management has been approached for comment. The world No. 2 briefly topped the table earlier in the year and has not outright condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. He has said that he “stands for peace”.

He had previously admitted that he may not be able to play in England this year, following comments from British Sport Minister Nigel Huddleston who said Medvedev may have to sue Putin in order to play.

The government told sports organizers that in order to compete, Russian athletes must fly a neutral flag and not receive funding tailored directly to Russia or through sponsorships from companies run by Putin supporters.

Athletes also allegedly did not support or intend to show support for the invasion, Putin’s regime or Putin himself.

Huddleston welcomed the Wimbledon move.

“The UK has played a leading role internationally in making it clear that President Putin should not be able to use sport to legitimize Russia’s barbaric invasion of Russia,” he said.

“While the withdrawal of individual athletes is a complex issue that will divide opinion, there is a bigger issue at stake.”

Leave a Comment