It’s official: Russian, Belarusian players WILL PLAY Wimbledon

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Russian and Belarusian tennis players will be allowed to compete at Wimbledon and other British events this summer after the All England Club has officially reversed the ban imposed last year in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Belarus’ support of the country.

Aryna Sabalenka
WTA world No.2 Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus is one of many players affected by this decision.

Russian and Belarusian players will compete as neutral athletes, which means that they will not be representing their countries, and together with their staff members will have to sign neutrality declarations. The players will have to agree not to support their states, regimes and leaders and accept not to receive funding from their states, including sponsorship from companies operated or controlled by them. Athletes who violate the neutrality declarations could face various consequences, including fines or expulsion from the tournament.

The All England Club said the decision was “incredibly difficult” and was made after discussions with the UK government, the Lawn Tennis Association and international stakeholders. The AELTC and LTA reiterated that they still stand by their last year’s decision, but due to the pressure from the ATP and WTA they had to lift the ban in order to prevent the tournaments traditionally staged in the lead-up to Wimbledon potentially being lost forever. Namely, the governing bodies of men’s and women’s tennis are both firmly against bans based on nationality and have said that they would cancel the LTA’s membership if such discrimination persists. (source: BBC)


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