WTA fines Wimbledon organizers for banning Russian and Belarusian players

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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.

Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus
World No.6 Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, the highest-ranked WTA player banned from playing Wimbledon 2022.

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)

 

4 COMMENTS

  1. In my humble opinion if the WTA wanted to make a statement why didn’t they
    just boycott the Wimbledon tournament all together. They want their cake and eat it as well.
    I hope the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Association wins their decision.
    I just think a strong message needed to be sent, well done Wimbledon.
    Please note I am a fan of the Russian and Belarusian tennis players.
    The loss of innocent lives ……. that is the concern here.

  2. Has the WTA thought about their Ukrainian players? Imagine how they would feel on court playing against a person from the terrorist, criminal country who has invaded their homeland and destroyed their cities and killed their family members and friends. Kudos to Wimbledon.

  3. There is so much more at stake here than tennis. Any Russian player who whinges that it’s not fair should talk to someone whose home has been destroyed, or whose family have been killed.

  4. A good wrap on the knuckles to decision makers at AELTC. It is fine to ban Russia from competitions but not make sports individuals to suffer

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