The WTA has fined the All England Lawn Tennis Club and the Lawn Tennis Association for banning Russian and Belarusian players from competing at this year’s Wimbledon and grass-court tournaments leading up to it.
Besides sanctioning Wimbledon by not awarding ranking points to players participating in the event this year, the WTA is going a step further by fining the AELTC £207,000 and the LTA £620,000. Both the All England Club and LTA and have appealed against the fines, which will have to be paid in full before any hearings can take place.
Wimbledon organizers decided to exclude Russian and Belarusian players in order to put some pressure on Russia for invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special operation”. The WTA firmly believes that athletes should not be victims of their government’s decisions and that such restrictions are neither fair nor justified.
AELTC chief executive Sally Bolton told reporters: “We stand by the decision we made, we are deeply disappointed at the reactions of the tours to that decision and I probably can’t say anything more on that at this time, I’m afraid.”
Russians and Belarusians are allowed to play WTA tournaments, but under a neutral flag. The WTA supports their exclusion from team competitions, such as the Billie Jean King Cup, where they specifically represent their countries. (source: BBC)