Wimbledon bosses comment on Russian stars’ participation – RT Sport News

Reports have suggested the tournament could ban Russian and Belarusian players

The organizers of Wimbledon, the showpiece of lawn tennis, have confirmed they are in talks with the British government and other parties regarding the participation of Russian and Belarusian players in this year’s event.

Reports have suggested that the All England Club, which hosts the Grand Slam, could act independently to prevent stars from Russia and Belarus from appearing this summer due to the conflict in Ukraine.

Wimbledon officials have now said they will clarify their position ahead of the entry deadline in around six weeks.

“We have taken note of the UK Government’s guidelines regarding the participation of Russian and Belarusian persons in a neutral capacity at sporting events in the UK”, read a statement.

“This remains a complex and difficult issue, and we continue to engage in discussions with the UK Government, the LTA [Lawn Tennis Association]and international tennis governing bodies.

“We expect to announce a decision regarding Wimbledon before our entry deadline in mid-May.”

UK Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston has said in recent weeks that the government will seek guarantees from Russian and Belarusian players – possibly in written form – that they are not supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin or the military operation. in Ukraine and that they are not financed by the authorities. .

Russian and Belarusian tennis stars have not been banned by the ATP, WTA or ITF, although they have been banned from team events and cannot display any national symbols at tournaments.

The Telegraph reported that the All England Club, as a private members club, could act without British government approval and ban Russian and Belarusian players regardless of positions taken elsewhere.

It was feared that a victory for men like Russian men’s world number two Daniil Medvedev would somehow be “strengthen the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin”, although the 26-year-old could be a doubt for this year’s event anyway after undergoing hernia surgery.

Medvedev out for up to two months due to injury

Other prominent Russian male stars include top 10 ace Andrey Rublev, as well as Karen Khachanov and Aslan Karatsev.

Belarusian tennis has notable female stars Aryna Sabalenka, who is ranked number five in the world, and two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka.

Private clubs have more freedom as to who to authorize or not, so they would not be subject to the same discrimination laws as touring“, The Telegraph quoted a source as saying.

If you are running the main tennis tour, you have the freedom to exclude players – if they have been found guilty of match-fixing or doping, for example – but you must be able to show that this course of action is reasonable.

In this case, if the tours took strong action, Russian players could claim that they are prevented from earning a living through no fault of their own. That’s not really a problem for Wimbledon, though.

The SW19 Grand Slam will begin on Monday June 27 and run until Sunday July 10.

Medvedev reacts to threat of Wimbledon ban for ‘pro-Putin’ stars

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