As one of the four tennis majors and the most prestigious tournament in the world, Wimbledon has come forward with a statement of its intent to outright ban all Belarusian and Russian players from taking part in the upcoming 2022 tournament held there.
“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,” claimed the All England Club in a release.
“It is therefore our intention, with deep regret, to decline entries from Russian and Belarusian players to The Championships 2022,” continued their statements.
As of writing, the 2022 Wimbledon tournament is slated to start on the 27th of June.
As stated by The New York Times, this ban means that a group of five Russian ladies in the WTA top-40 will be barred from taking part in the competition, along with Daniil Medvedev, the men’s second-place overall player.
In the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine back in February, the tennis world has been letting Belarusian and Russian tennis professionals compete, but only if they do so while not under the flags of their respective countries. The head of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), Steve Simon, claimed that tennis professionals from Belarus and Russia should not be barred from taking part in the competition “as the result of political positions their leadership may take.”
“You never know what the future may bring,” stated Simon to BBC Sport.
“But I can tell you that we have never banned athletes from participating on our tour as the result of political positions their leadership may take,” stated Simon. “So it would take something very, very significant for that to change, but again we don’t know where this is going.”
In the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the realm of sport was quick in its response to ban all Russian and Belarusian athletes from events and competitions around the world.
Back near the start of March, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) walked back on an earlier choice to all the competing of Belarusian and Russian athletes at the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.
“The war has now come to these Games, and behind the scenes, many governments are having an influence on our cherished event,” stated IPC President Andrew Parsons, reported ESPN. “We were trying to protect the Games from war.”
Parsons stated that various delegations issued threats of boycott against the game if Belarus and Russia were allowed to take part.
“In the last 12 hours an overwhelming number of members have been in touch with us and been very open, for which I am grateful,” stated Parsons. “They have told us that if we do not reconsider our decision, it is now likely to have grave consequences for the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games. Multiple NPCs, some of which have been contacted by their governments, teams and athletes, are threatening not to compete.”