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Russian and Belarusian players banned from Wimbledon, British events

After the ban on the German players during World War II, Wimbledon has banned the athletes from countries for the first time.

All England Lawn Tennis Club released a statement on 20th April 2022 in which it declared that the tennis players from Russia and Belarus will not be allowed to compete at Wimbledon due to Russia’s invasion on Ukraine. The grass court grand slam will be held between 27th June and 10th July this year.

In its statement, the All England Lawn Tennis Club which organizes the Wimbledon said, “On behalf of the All England Club and the Committee of Management of The Championships, we wish to express our ongoing support for all those impacted by the conflict in Ukraine during these shocking and distressing times. We share in the universal condemnation of Russia’s illegal actions and have carefully considered the situation in the context of our duties to the players, to our community, and to the broader UK public as a British sporting institution. We have also taken into account guidance set out by the UK Government specifically in relation to sporting bodies and events.”

The statement further said, “Given the profile of The Championships in the United Kingdom and around the world, it is our responsibility to play our part in the widespread efforts of Government, industry, sporting and creative institutions to limit Russia’s global influence through the strongest means possible.”

Declining entires to Russian tennis players, the statement further said, “In the circumstances of such unjustified and unprecedented military aggression, it would be unacceptable for the Russian regime to derive any benefits from the involvement of Russian or Belarusian players with The Championships. It is, therefore, our intention, with deep regret, to decline entries from Russian and Belarusian players to The Championships 2022.”

Ian Hewitt is the chairman of the All England Lawn Tennis Club. He said, “We recognize that this is hard on the individuals affected, and it is with sadness that they will suffer for the actions of the leaders of the Russian regime. We have very carefully considered the alternative measures that might be taken within the UK Government guidance but, given the high profile environment of The Championships, the importance of not allowing the sport to be used to promote the Russian regime, and our broader concerns for public and player (including family) safety, we do not believe it is viable to proceed on any other basis at The Championships.”

The statement published by the club concluded with the remarks saying, “If circumstances change materially between now and June, we will consider and respond accordingly. We also welcome the LTA’s decision in declining entries from Russian and Belarusian players to UK events to ensure that British tennis is delivering a consistent approach across the summer.”

Russian Tennis Federation president Shamil Tarpischev talked with the Russian newspaper Sport Express and said, “I think this decision is wrong but there is nothing we can change. The (Russian) Tennis Federation has already done everything it could. I don’t want to talk about this, but I will say that this decision goes against the athletes. We are working on the situation, that’s all I can say.”

According to a report by Reuters, British Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said, “The UK has taken a leading role internationally to make clear that President (Vladimir) Putin must not be able to use sport to legitimize Russia’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine. We have set out our position with sports governing bodies and event organizers and will continue to encourage them to take appropriate action for their sport.” It must be noted that it was Nigel Huddleston who had earlier said that he would not be comfortable with a Russian tennis player winning the Wimbledon grand slam title in London.

This ban will prevent Russian players world number two Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev, ranked eighth, from competing in the men’s draw. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova is 15th in the women’s rankings. She will also miss the competition due to this decision. Women’s world number four Aryna Sabalenka and two-times Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka of Belarus will also be not allowed to enter the competition this year as per the declared ban. After the ban on the German players during world war two, Wimbledon banned the athletes from countries for the first time.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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